Federal COVID19 Updates
US Department of Labor (DOL)Need Help Tracking Work Hours? DOL has an app to help you and your employees. The DOL-Timesheet App helps track regular work hours, break time, and overtime hours so employees and employers can keep accurate records.
Whistleblower Rights: Reminder it is illegal to retaliate against workers for reporting unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. April 8 Press Release
New! June 2020: US DOL + CDC Issue Interim Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers View Guidance. Agriculture work sites, shared worker housing, and shared worker transportation vehicles present unique challenges for preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19.
OSHAInformation, interim guidances, and resources released by US DOL - OSHA to prevent and deal with SARS-CoV-2 aka COVID19. OSHA Information on COVID19 | COVID Memos
Suggested NEGFA Staff Read: Compilation of OSHA COVID Guidance for Employers by National Law Review as of May 21.
- Interim Enforcement Response Instructions and Guidance for Area offices and Compliance Safety and Health Officers during COVID19 Effective: April 13 Rescinded: May 26
- New! Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID Effective: May 26
- OSHA will increase inspections to areas of lower community spread. It will be prioritizing inspections related to COVID19.
- OSHA will enforce the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904 for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers.
- Following existing regulations, employers with 10 or fewer employees and certain employers in low hazard industries have no recording obligations; they need only report work-related coronavirus illnesses that result in a fatality or an employee’s in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.
- OSHA Updates Its COVID-19 Recordkeeping Guidance, Giving Employers Helpful Guardrails
- Rescinded Notification: May 19 OSHA Guidance Limiting Recordable Illness Recordkeeping Requirements of COVID19 Cases Effective: April 10 Expires: time-limited to the current public health crisis until the agency notifies employers otherwise, all employers – except emergency response organizations, correctional institutions, or those in the healthcare industry – will not be required to record cases of COVID-19 unless:
- There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and
- The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Defining Objective Evidence & More Info
Expires: May 26
- Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID19 OSHA 3990-03
- Determining Worker Exposure Risk to COVID19 OSHA3993
- Guidance on Preventing Worker Exposure
- Guidance for Retail Workers COVID19 OSHA3996
- Guidance for Manufacturing Industry Workers OSHA4002
- 10 Steps to Reduce Risk Exposure Poster Available in 12 languages
- Is COVID-19 Recordable or Reportable to OSHA? National Law Review
- Occupational Safety Consultants Provides Guidance on Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Expands March 14 Temporary Guidance for Respirator Fit-Testing to All Industries during COVID-19 Pandemic. Effective: Immediately. Expires: time-limited to the current public health crisis
- Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Effective: April 3 | Expires: time-limited to the current public health crisis
- Enforcement Guidance Reusing Disposable N95 Filtering Face Piece Respirators (N95 FFRs) that have NOT been decontaminated. Effective: April 24 | Expires: time-limited to the current public health crisis
- Enforcement Guidance on Decontamination of Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFRs) in Healthcare During COVID19 Pandemic. Effective: April 24 | Expires: time-limited to the current public health crisis
- May 8 - Released a video and poster (English or Spanish) with step-by-step instructions on how to properly wear and remove a respirator.
- NEW! May 22 - USDA & FDA Addressed PPE Shortages for Nation's Food Supply Prioritization Guidance
Other PPE Related Info
- April 2 - Availability of PPE is becoming an issue for many non-health care sectors, including agriculture. Getting PPE into the hands of doctors, nurses and first responders is the top priority. The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) reviews potential alternatives for workers in the grain and feed industry.
- April 21 - Food & Feed Industry Gather List for Obtaining PPE During COVID19 More Info
- Respirators, PPE, and COVID19 NIOSH Resources
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Approved Disinfectants for COVID19 List N Reminder to follow label instructions!
- COVID-19 Memorandum Implications for EPA's Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program | Highlights
- May 11 - EPA Search Tool for Consumers to Find Safe, Effective Disinfectant Products to Use Against COVID19 EPA released its List N Tool, a new web-based application (app) that allows smartphone users and others to quickly identify disinfectant products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The agency transformed the data from the List N webpage (400+ disinfectants) into a browser-based web app that allows users to rapidly identify the disinfectant products best suited for their needs. Users can search by use site (e.g., home, business, health care, etc.), surface type (e.g., hard, non-porous surfaces like countertops; porous surfaces like fabrics), contact time (i.e., the time the product needs to be visibly wet), EPA registration number, active ingredient, or product name.
- Reminder: Follow the label directions for safe, effective use. Make sure to follow the contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet. Infographic On How To Use These Products
Nebraska's in EPA Region 7 (Midwest) | Region 7 News Releases
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)The U.S. food supply remains safe for both people and animals
- There is NO evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID19 regardless of the status of the worker in a plant.
- FDA does NOT anticipate that food products will need to be recalled or be withdrawn from the market should a person that works on a farm or in a food facility test positive for COVID19.
March 18 - Announces Focus on Safety of Regulated Products While Scaling Back Domestic Inspections COVID19 News Release
April 22 - Temporary Policy for Certain Requirements under the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program During COVID-19. Addresses onsite monitoring activities by providing temporary flexibility so that recognized accreditation bodies (ABs) can maintain the accreditations of certification bodies (CBs), and so that already-issued certifications need not lapse, where certain safeguards are in place. An accredited CB that has issued a certificate with an upcoming expiration date can contact FDA at FDAthirdpartyprogram@fda.hhs.gov to discuss the term of the current certificates. PDF Download
April 24 - FDA + CDC Collaborate on Fact Sheet What Respirators, Masks and Face Coverings are Most Appropriate for Food and Ag Sector During COVID19 PDF Download
April 24 – What to Do If You Have COVID19 Confirmed Positive or Exposed Workers in Your Food Production, Storage, or Distribution Operations Regulated by FDA for Business Continuity Summary from CDC Recommendations | PDF Download | Reminder Contact Your Local Health Department
May 22 - USDA & FDA Addressed PPE Shortages for Nation's Food Supply Prioritization Guidance
More Info: FDA COVID19
FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine Food Waste Reuse FAQ Sheet for Animal Food Download
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
Expanded FAQs for State Driver Licensing Agencies and Commercial Drivers Regarding Permissible Actions During the COVID-19 Emergency Effective: April 13 | Expires: after the public health emergency related to COVID19
New! June 8:FMCSA modifies emergency declaration and extension granting regulatory relief to motor carriers providing COVID19 relief No. 2020-002 Under 49CFR 390.25. The modifications limit the scope of the regulatory relief in the declaration. Effective: June 15 and extend until July 14. Highlights:
- Livestock and livestock feed: Relief is available only to transporters of finished feed. Transporters of feed ingredients are ineligible;
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; and
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
More Info FMCSA-COVID19: COVID19 Info & Resources | Emergency Declarations, Waivers, Exemptions, Permits | Contact: FMCSADeclaration.dot.gov
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)March 23 – CISA Issues Initial Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers during COVID-19 which included human food, animal food, pet food, pet supply, and distribution activities.
March 28 - Issued Critical Food and Ag Sector Version 2.0
April 12 - FEMA Fact Sheet on Personal Protective Equipment Preservation Best Practices
April 17 - Designated as Version 3.0 – changes are more of a cleanup/clarification of the verbiage. The term “storage” was added so it now reads, “grain and oilseed handling, storage, processing, and distribution” sector.
May 19 - Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.1 of its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Version 3.1 provides clarity around many individual worker categories, including expanded language for those workers supporting at-risk communities and the essential nature of health facility workers in communities across the country.
- Specifically included workers in the pet food, pet supply, and feed ingredient sectors within the broad definition of “animal food.”
- Added a specific reference to workers at ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable fuel facilities.
- Broadened transportation and distribution activities to encompass workers in all modes, including rail, barge, and vessel (previous references were only to trucks).
- Specifically included workers involved in manufacturing biologics and vaccines.
- Broadened the category of veterinarians designated as critical infrastructure workers to include those caring for pets.
- Included workers involved in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of equipment used in the food and agriculture industry.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID19
- Top 10 Tips to Prepare your Small Business and Employees for the Effects of COVID-19 View Top 10
- Essential Worker Do’s & Don’ts PDF
- Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Essential Workers Exposed to COVID19 Guidance | PDF Download
- Decontamination and Reuse of Filtering Facepiece Respirators More Info | April 24: Press Release
- CDC YouTube Channel: Discover informative webinars. Review best practices to disinfect N95 respirators of COVID19 and an overview of respiratory protection and guidance. Watch Now
- General COVID19 Info from CDC