COVID-19

The situation with COVID-19 continues to be fluid with changes happening rapidly and often. Many in the industry are doing your part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in an effort to keep employees, customers, and our communities safe and healthy. As we work together to stay healthy, this will hopefully help our local and regional healthcare networks from being overwhelmed.

NEGFA's Goal is to Help You Keep People Safe and the Grain Flowing

Grain and Feed Associations Call on States to Keep Animal Food Businesses Open Letter to Governors | Letters to Dept. of Ag


Food and Agriculture, Energy and Transportation are Defined as Critical Infrastructures

  • An updated version of the CISA Essential Critical Worker Guidance 1.1 (Issued March 23, 2020) 
    • Adds: Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids
  • CISA Essential Critical Worker Guidance 2.0 Expected Publish Date March 27
    • ​Should you have questions about CISA's Essential Critical Worker guidance or suggestions, please contact CISA at CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov
  • State definitions of Essential Businesses Under Stay-at-Home Orders View Map

RESOURCES

John Hopkins Confirmed Coronavirus Interactive Map 
National Governor's Association Updates

Federal Updates & Guidance Documents

Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
  • Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
Food & Drug Administration
  • FDA Briefing for Foods Stakeholders on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) View Recording
  • Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Q & A on Food & Feed Sector 
  • FDA Focuses on Safety of Regulated Products While Scaling Back Domestic Inspections COVID19 News Release
Dept. of Labor- OSHA
DOL - Wage & Hour Division 
United States Department of Agriculture
  • USDA Operations Continue During Shelter in Residence News Release
  • USDA Continues Focus on Service During COVID-19 Outbreak News Release
  • USDA - Ag Marketing Service Notice
  • USDA and DOL Announce Information Sharing to Assist H-2A Employers News Release
  • USDA advises stakeholders to send questions regarding the food supply chain, which would include livestock producers and the animal food industry, to foodsupplychain@usda.gov
  • USDA advises stakeholders to direct questions regarding agricultural labor to aglabor@usda.gov
Small Business/HR
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Assistance Loans for Small Business Employers Apply Now
  • Summary of the Family First Coronavirus Response Act Baylor Evnen (March 18, 2020)
  • HR Compliance Bulletin - New Coronavirus Relief Laws Require Paid Employee Leave View Info
  • HR Compliance Bulletin - Families First Coronavirus Response Act—Questions and Answers
  • HR Compliance Bulletin - Enforcement Expectations of Coronavirus Paid Leave Law Effective April 2020
  • HR Chart How Families First Coronavirus Response Act Affects Your Business View Chart
  • Cancelled Annual Meetings - You are advised to contact your attorney, read your by-laws to determine the board’s authority, and proceed based on legal counsel’s advice. Your legal counsel may be able to advise you that you can convene the annual meeting and recess it due to a lack of a quorum – but that has to come from your legal counsel. NE Executive Order 20-03
Federal Motor Carrier Services Administration (FMCSA) /DOT
  • Notice to State Drivers Licensing Agencies of the FMCSA's Policy Regarding Effect of Actions during COVID-19 Emergency Guidance
  • Expanded FMCSA Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2020-002 as of March 18, 2020
  • Frequently Asked Questions Related to the FMCSA Emergency Declaration FAQ Guidance as of March 19, 2020
  • Frequently Asked Questions Related to the FMCSA Emergency Declaration Part 2: March 25, 2020
    • Adds: wood pulp, feed, and fertilizer as eligible for hours-of-service relief under the emergency declaration because they are a precursor to items that are “essential” for the emergency relief effort.
    • Pet food is not eligible at this time.
  • Nebraska's Executive Order 20.01 Relating to FMCSA
    • Governor grants conditions facilitating compliance with FMCSA 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 40CFR parts 390 - 399 from March 13 - May 1, 2020.
    • For commercial motor vehicles, length and weight hauling requirements of federal and state law are suspended through the duration of the motor carrier's assistance in the pandemic relief efforts as granted in the FMCSA exemption and guidances above.
    • Drivers operating under this order shall carry a copy of the proclamation with them as evidence of their direct support to the State of Nebraska during this emergency period.
  • Compliance with DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations DOT Guidance 
  • American Trucking Association Tracking CDL Changes View Chart
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau
Bureau provides a waiver to ethanol producers authorizing the manufacturing of ethanol-based hand sanitizer to address the increased demand. Guidance

Nebraska Updates & Guidance Documents

  1. Register for Governor's News Releases | View News Releases |  Watch Daily 2 pm News Conference 
  2. Gov. Ricketts Releases Guidances on What Everyone Can Do to Help Stop Coronavirus Press Release
  3. Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Loosen Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements   Press Release
    1. In line with federal guidance, Governor Ricketts is allowing the Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) to waive the following requirements for claims filed between March 22 and May 2. 
    2. Employer Chargers- Unemployment benefits are typically paid with contributions from employers.  NE DOL will temporarily waive charges incurred by employers whose team members are filing claims related to COVID-19.  Nebraska has a healthy Trust Fund that will be utilized to pay for unemployment benefits tied to COVID-19.
  4. Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Ease Driver and Vehicle Requirements Press Release
  5. Gov. Ricketts, Ag Leaders, and Healthcare CEOs Discuss COVID-19 Response in Nebraska - March 24 Update
    1. Gov. Ricketts emphasized that travelers returning to Nebraska should self-quarantine for 14 days if they are coming back from abroad or from domestic locations where cases of COVID-19 are widespread, such as Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, New York City, San Francisco, or Seattle. P
    2. As testing for COVID-19 expands in the state, more people will be identified as having the virus. Governor Ricketts reported that as the testing expands the number will rise and people should not be alarmed, it is expected.
  6. Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Expand Childcare Access, Announces May 12th Election Will Proceed as Scheduled
  7. ​Nebraskans will have until July 15 to pay state income taxes. If possible you're still encouraged to file by April 15. Press Release
  8. Nebraska Legislature Advances Emergency Pandemic Funding Allocations & Vote
  9. Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles - Driver Licensing FAQ on Gov. Ricketts Executive Order on DMV Requirements FAQ Sheet
  10. Nebraska Pesticide Certification and Training - Online Options
  11. Nebraska Department of Revenue - Accepted Valid Taxpayer or Authorized Taxpayer Representative Signature on Certain Forms and Documents Guidance
  12. Nebraska Health Department List
  13. Nebraska Public Service Commission - Holding Virtual Meetings, No Walk-Ins Press Release
  14. Gov. Ricketts Announces Eligibility of Nebraska Businesses to Apply for SBA Disaster Loans Press Release
  15. Nebraska Chamber - Coronavirus Toolkit for Business & Industry Resource List
  16. Directed Health Measure Nebraska Counties - Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Washington, Lancaster, Saunders, and Dodge Counties Gov. Ricketts Adds Press Release

Fellow Grain & Feed Association Resources

Industry Best Practices:

  1. Work closely with local health officials
  2. Adhere to the advice from local, state, and national health officials.
  3. Establish an internal response team to monitor the situation and governmental guidances. This team is a good main point of contact to address any changes to practices or responses that need to be communicated. 
  4. Incorporate plans to minimize physical contact. 
  5. Incorporate ways to maintain mental & emotional health through these trying times.
  6. Record all losses related to COVID-19 from Jan. 31, 2020 until the pandemic is over.
  7. Keep a record of individuals you're in physical contact with if you're conducting one-on-one or small group meetings.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Please continue to contact NEGFA with concerns and questions regarding COVID19. NEGFA will continue to stress the importance of our industry and the vital role you, our members, play in the state, national and international supply chain. Robust agribusiness operations are vital to keep the country moving.

COVID19 Sample Docs for Nebraska's Grain and Feed Industry

  • COVID19 Nebraska Facility Visitor Sign
  • COVID19 Response Planning Checklist
  • COVID19 Truck Driver Notice for Grain & Feed Industry View Sample
  • COVID19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Policy Statement for Employers with Fewer than 500 Employees Sample from ThinkHR
  • COVID19 Emergency Family and Medical Leave Policy Statement Sample from ThinkHR
  • COVID19 Employee Guidance Communication Sample from Think HR
  • COVID19 Deemed Essential Letter for Nebraska (if shelter in place becomes effective) Draft Example
  • COVID19 Potential Exposure Letter to Employees Draft Example

Download & Share These Health & Safety Messages

Wash Your Hands Video for Instagram & Facebook
Don't Touch - Eyes, Mouth, Nose Image for Instagram & Facebook
Wash Your Hands Image for Instagram & Facebook
Safety Made Simple COVID19 Videos

Nebraska's Congressional Delegation Updates

More information from