On March 16th, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America, naming the food supply chain as part of the critical infrastructure needed to maintain healthy, safety and national security. This guidance states that:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”
Workers at every level of the food supply chain are listed as critical: farmers, feed mill employees, food manufacturing plant workers, grocery store workers and more are all included in the guidance.
In case of a shelter-in-place/Stay-at-home order, NPPC created a document for essential workers to have on hand while traveling to and from their places of work. The fillable form allows you to fill in the employee, place of work, phone number and supervisor signature, and includes the Coronavirus Guidance document that explains what an essential employee is.
• COVID-19 and the Pork Industry Webinar Recording
• Emergency Planning/Response Resources
• Pork Industry Farm-Level Crisis Plan
• Pork Industry COVID-19 Talking Points
• Pork Checkoff FAQs on ASF and COVID-19
• Resources for Employers
The Swine Disease Eradication center at the University of Minnesota recently released practical recommendations regarding biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in farm workers and other allied operations.:
- Practical biosecurity recommendations to prevent COVID-19 in farm workers and allied operations | PDF
Other helpful resources:
- NCDHHS COVID-19 Response
- NCDA&CS information
- Waste Analysis Sample waiver due to COVID-19: The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services requested a temporary waiver of the monitoring and reporting requirement for permitted animal waste systems due to the threat of COVID-19 exposure to laboratory workers. DEQ granted a waiver requirement until June 1, 2020. Between now and June 1, you have 90 days instead of 60 to submit a representative waste analysis sample. NCDA&CS asks you to please utilize this waiver and forgo submission of swine waste samples until after June 1, 2020. Read the waiver here
- CDC Resources
- FDA Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- FDA COVID-19 main page
- DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Emergency Declaration: FMCSA exempted livestock haulers from compliance with federal Hours of Service rules that limit drive time until at least April 12 due to the COVID-19 emergency relief effort.
In addition, the emergency exemption includes relief from all the hours-of-service regulations in in 49 CFR, part 395, including the record keeping requirements. If there is an electronic logging device (ELD) in the truck, drivers have three options, DOT explains.
1. Use the “authorized personal use” (personal conveyance) function of the ELD to record all of the time providing direct assistance under the exemption. Use of this function will result in the time being recorded as off duty and requires an annotation.
2. Use the ELD in its normal mode and annotate the ELD record to indicate they were driving under the emergency relief exemption
3. Turn off the ELD, in which case the carrier would address the unassigned miles in accordance with the current regulation.
Drivers wishing to haul under this exemption are suggested to print out and keep in their cab a copy of the Expanded Emergency Declaration and a copy of the FAQ document that clearly draws the connection between the emergency declaration and livestock hauling, advises the Livestock Market Association (LMA).