On March 19th, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued guidance identifying categories of the workforce conducting operations and services considered essential to the continuation of the country’s critical infrastructure during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CISA, the federal agency tasked with providing strategic federal guidance and coordination to ensure the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure, has issued the guidance pursuant to President Trump’s updated Coronavirus Guidance for America, which instructed certain sectors of the workforce to maintain their normal work schedules.
For the transportation and logistics sector, workers identified by CISA as essential include several categories involved in rail and public transportation, including:
- Mass transit workers;
- Workers responsible for operating dispatching passenger, commuter and freight trains and maintaining rail infrastructure and equipment; and
- Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure.
The guidance, available here, is strictly advisory in nature and recognizes that state and local governments have ultimate authority over public health and safety decisions. The guidance is instead intended to assist state and local officials in prioritizing various activities in their responses to COVID-19.