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Preparing Your Workforce for a State-ordered Shelter-in-Place

Several states have issued a “shelter-in-place” order to battle the coronavirus, COVID-19. Here are some tips on what this means and what grain and feed facilities need to do to prepare:

What does a “shelter in place” mean?

Under such an order, everyone in the state is required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or go to an “essential” job.

Does each state get to determine what is “essential?”

Yes, local or state authorities determine what jobs are “essential.”

On March 19, the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to state and local decision-makers on what they deem to be the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.” Under this guidance, the agency lists 16 industry sectors as imperative to the stability of the nation during the COVID-19 emergency, of which food and agriculture, energy and transportation systems are listed as essential sectors applicable to Nebraska's grain and feed industry.  Reminder: this is just a guidance and states, like Nebraska, do not have to adopt these industry sectors as “essential” or they can expand on what is classified as "essential". 

Nebraska's government has been working proactively to reduce the need to have a Shelter-in-Place executive order. If Nebraska were to issue an order, NEGFA and other agricultural organizations are actively communicating the need to maintain Nebraska's agriculture sector as an "essential" industry and will ask for clarification for the industry if something is unclear in the executive order.

List for a compilation of state activities and executive orders (opens best in Google Chrome).

What can you, the grain and feed businesses, do to prepare?

  • If you haven't already determined what staff are most essential to be onsite and run your operation, the time to do so is now!
  • Prepare identification badges for your staff to carry with them. (Employee's Name & Photo, Facility Address)
  • Letters for the employee to carry with while traveling to & from work stating their essentialism. This could include a paragraph referencing copy of the state's executive order or from the federal critical infrastructure guidance.

Questions, Comments, Concerns Contact NEGFA

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