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Notice defining ‘essential’ work during the COVID-19 pandemic

27 Mar 2020 1:30 PM | Pat Levak

California is working under the federal directive, with some explanation through the documents that are linked below, that was released last week by Governor Newson. In discussions with the governor’s office and the Office of Emergency Services, CGA has been told that no letters or specific waivers would be issued declaring that a specific industry or businesses is deemed “essential”.

We would encourage CGA members to review the directive, which provides several descriptions of essential that we believe would allow for many member services to continue.


  • Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences


  • Essential workforce employees needed to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure, including —
    • Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring
    • Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater operations


  • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees — to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing byproducts for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging
  • Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs
  • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution (including curbside distribution and deliveries), including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers, blockchain managers, distribution
  • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail
  • Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids
  • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution

The following documents are included with this notice —

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