Provides guidance for state and local governments and the private sector that transportation services, repair and parts are critical. Workers in critical industries have “a special responsibility” to maintain a normal work schedule.
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) yesterday released guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19.
The guidance is important as California incorporated the CISA recommendations in its statewide order yesterday limiting individual travel. Pennsylvania also expanded its enforcement issuing an order closing all “non-life-sustaining” businesses, announcing it would begin to enforce the requirements. Pennsylvania’s announcement included automotive repair services and parts suppliers in the list of businesses allowed to stay open during the crisis, but did not incorporate the CISA recommendations directly and differ somewhat.
The CISA guidance states:
“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.”
CISA executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall Federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure.
The list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers was developed in coordination with Federal agencies and the private sector as a guide to help decision-makers within communities understand how to ensure continuity of essential functions and critical workforce as they consider COVID-related restrictions in certain communities (e.g., shelter-in-place).
Automotive repair and maintenance facilities are included in the list within the Transportation and Logistics sector.
The list also includes a critical manufacturing sector that includes materials and products needed for categories such as medical supply chains as well as transportation.
Financial services, including insurance services, are including in the CISA critical infrastructure workforce list.
The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance. These critical functions include, but are not limited to, systems that support healthcare personnel (e.g., doctors, nurses, laboratory personnel, etc.), the food industry (e.g., retail groceries and pharmacies), communication providers (e.g., operator, call centers, IT data centers), defense systems support, law enforcement, public works, and other essential operations. Workers who support these critical functions are necessary to keep critical systems and assets working.
“As the nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, everyone has a role to play in protecting public health and safety. Many of the men and women who work across our nation’s critical infrastructure industries are hard at work keeping the lights on, water flowing from the tap, groceries on the shelves, among other countless essential services,” said Christopher Krebs, CISA Director. “As the nation’s risk advisor, this list is meant to provide additional guidance to state and local partners, as well as industry, building on the President’s statement that critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility to keep normal operations. We’re providing recommendations for these partners as they carry out their mission to keep their communities safe, healthy, and resilient. And on behalf of CISA, we thank the brave men and women who continue these essential jobs in challenging times.”
Over the last few days, automotive repair industry groups had called on the Federal government to provide guidance nationwide in response to conflicting state and local orders and welcomed the news.
“The Auto Care Association has been working tirelessly on the Federal, State and local level to educate officials on the need to include Transportation Services on the list of essential businesses that should remain open during emergency shutdown orders in order to ensure the mobility of the public and most importantly emergency service personnel. This Federal directive hopefully will provide important guidance to State and local officials in the development of any emergency orders,” according to Auto Care Association president and CEO, Bill Hanvey.
The list was developed using existing data and analysis, including publicly available analysis done by the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council in 2007. The list does not impose any mandates on state or local jurisdictions or private companies.