COVID-19 Updates and What They Mean for the Agricultural Industry
In light of the current coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) situation, California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an Executive Order that states everyone is to “stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential (critical) job.” Agriculture has been classified as one of the 16 critical industries. According to Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau, those involved in agriculture, food production, distribution of food or agricultural products (ANYONE working in the “Food Supply Chain”) are allowed, and should, continue to show up for work as long as they are not ill or exhibiting symptoms of illness. In addition, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross has reported that “CDFA is also working to ensure that [their] inspectors and other field staff have the credentials and information they need to assure local officials, private companies, consumers and other partners that [they] are conducting critical activities that are integral to the state’s COVID-19 response.”
The Department of Homeland Security also has issued a notification of temporary travel restrictions between the U.S. and Mexico. As of March 20, travel through ports of entry is limited to “essential travel”. According to the notice, “individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Mexico” meet the standards for essential travel. Produce imports will continue during this restricted period. The restriction will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 20, 2020.
For more information, refer to the California COVID-19 website or the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s COVID-19 webpage.