Coronavirus Government Response Update—EPA Issues Advisory on Disinfectants

June 2, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—EPA Issues Advisory on Disinfectants

Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing an advisory on disinfectants, return to work bonus discussions among policymakers, bipartisan deficit concerns, and more.

EPA Issues Advisory on Disinfectants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance released a compliance advisory on products claiming to kill SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The advisory reiterates that disinfectant products that claim to kill viruses must be registered with the EPA before they can be sold. Pesticide products cannot legally make claims that they kill a particular pathogen, such as SARS-CoV-2, unless the EPA has authorized the claim during the registration process.

White House, Congress Discuss ‘Return to Work’ Bonus
Congress and the White House are debating a return-to-work bonus this summer, aimed at the more than 40 million workers who have lost jobs and filed for unemployment during the deadly pandemic, as a new incentive for those who go back to work. President Donald Trump likes the idea but talks remain fluid about how big the bonus should be and how long it should last. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has proposed the federal government give people who stop collecting unemployment and go back to work US$450 a week for several weeks. Others, including White House officials and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), have discussed allowing workers to get up to $1,200 if they find a job.

Bipartisan Group Wants Deficits Addressed in Next Virus Aid Bill
Passing another COVID-19 relief package may require easing lawmakers’ concerns about the deficit. A bipartisan group of 60 House members, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, wrote to their leaders asking them to include measures to begin reducing the nation’s debt. The four aid bills enacted since the pandemic began in March opened federal spending to the tune of around $3 trillion in new borrowing, with more to come likely this summer.

EPA Emphasizes Need to Continue Cleaning and Disinfection
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and all of its federal, state, tribal, and local partners to move forward toward Opening up America Again. From practicing social distancing to continuing to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, all Americans can play a role in reducing the risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. EPA and the CDC recently released updated guidance to help facility operators and families properly clean and disinfect spaces. The guidance provides step-by-step instructions for public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes.

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