Dear IFAI member,
I hope you are doing well and staying healthy during the COVID-19 crisis. IFAI and other industry associations have been working with officials at the highest levels of the White House, the administration and senior congressional officials, who have enlisted our industry’s help to meet the country’s needs for medical-related personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies required to combat the COVID-19 crisis.
As you are likely aware, states like California and Pennsylvania have recently issued statewide “Shelter-in-Place” orders that, while well-intended, have the potential to disrupt important supply chains, particular those of needed PPE, medical and other supplies that are critical to the COVID-19 response.
On March 19, the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to state and local officials on the identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 response. In this document, the federal government identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof. Further, this afternoon DLA-Troop Support distributed the attached to industry partners.
Bear in mind that the CISA guidance “is advisory in nature” and “it is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.” As a result, states appear to have some leeway in how they apply this guidance. The California executive order specifically exempts the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” outlined by CISA. However, the Pennsylvania executive order lists textile mills among the businesses that the governor has ordered to close.
In a recent news release and in other outreach to public officials, IFAI has called upon state and local officials to deem our industry’s manufacturers and suppliers of needed items as “essential.”
While we will continue to work with public officials to make clear the vital role our industry is playing in the COVID-19 response, we anticipate that many IFAI members may find themselves in the position of contacting their state and local officials to seek clarification on and exemptions from various “Shelter-in-Place” orders to support mission-critical activities aimed at providing PPE, medical and other supplies that are needed to promote public health, safety and security.
With this in mind, IFAI has prepared a template letter, which you may use to work with public officials to seek exemptions from these requirements. Please be advised that this template has been prepared to offer general guidance and a framework from which to make these requests and you may need to make adjustments to fit the specific circumstances that your company is facing in various locations. I am available to review and work with you to ensure that any communications you develop for public officials are impactful.
As this remains a very fluid issue, IFAI will continue to assess all available information and provide updates as appropriate. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, thank you for all of the work that you are doing to support America during this time of crisis.
Industrial Fabrics Association International
President and CEO
+1 651 225 6952