The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has identified the wood products industry as an essential critical infrastructure workforce in the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Designated Homeland Security “Workers who support the manufacturing and distribution of forest products, including but not limited to wood, paper and other wood products” as essential.
Healthcare providers, law enforcement and public safety, and utility and transport workers were also deemed essential. These workers are part of the “comprehensive federal effort to keep the nation’s critical infrastructure safe and resilient” during the pandemic response.
“This designation underscores the critical role our more than 3,500 team members play in producing high-quality wood products to help build affordable housing, emergency shelters and care facilities. healthcare across North America,” said Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery. “Our industry will continue to support the supply chain of materials critical to response and recovery efforts.”
Although the federal guidelines are only advisory, on March 19, 2020, the State of California issued an order directing all people living in the state to “stay home. . . except as required to maintain the continuity of operations of federal critical infrastructure sectors.
The California ordinance adopted the federal guidelines, which now set the standard in California for critical infrastructure. Other orders are in place or planned in New York, Illinois and other states.
Roseburg’s Weed Veneer Plant in California will continue to operate as part of its efforts to provide essential building products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other states and other jurisdictions may develop their own lists of essential industries and workers who would be excluded from broad shelter-in-place or similar quarantine orders.