Critical Manufacturing or Essential Businesses– Guidance from the Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has issued federal guidance on March 19, 2020 categorizing a variety of manufacturers as among “essential” infrastructure. This guidance was updated on March 23, 2020 with an important addition to the “critical manufacturing” section, reflected by the text below:

Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply chains, and for supply chains associated with transportation, energy, communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base. Additionally, workers needed to maintain the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains.”

While this guidance is not governing for manufacturers, many states who have issued business closures have adopted this standard for determining the businesses exempt from their recent shelter in place orders, while still other states have added to it with specific language exempting manufacturers.

The full guidance document can be accessed here.

SGIA continues to monitor this and other critical legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Check back often for further updates on these issues. For more information or questions, please contact
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