Agency Guidance: Maritime Workers Are Critical
A federal agency responsible for keeping infrastructure and cyber facilities secure has issued a list including maritime workers among those “essential critical infrastructure workers” during COVID-19 response.
The agency is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The list is part of a guidance that is not binding, but could be helpful in exempting towboat crews and other maritime workers from any possible lockdown orders or state orders limiting the sizes of gatherings. It was issued March 19 by Christopher Krebs, director of CISA.
The letter explains: “As the nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that: ‘If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.’ The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.”
CISA consulted with other agencies and private industry groups to develop the list, which was intended to help state and local authorities determine which sectors should maintain normal work schedules in according with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The guidance notes, “This list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.”
Coronavirus stories in the March 23 edition of The Waterways Journal: