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Coronavirus Government Response Update—ISSA Seeks Clarification on Reopening Guidelines

June 11, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—ISSA Seeks Clarification on Reopening Guidelines

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 ISSA requesting clarification on reopening guidelines, janitorial services showing steep gains, unemployment insurance in the wake of COVID-19, and more.

ISSA Seeks Clarification on Reopening Guidelines
As a member of the Go LIVE Together coalition, ISSA is seeking assurances from states and municipalities that events previously scheduled in those locations can and will take place. ISSA has been working closely with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, representatives from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other health experts to ensure that its events align with medically substantiated safety standards. ISSA’s GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, which upholds effective cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention protocols in facilities, has been adopted by dozens of facilities worldwide.

Janitorial Services Among Occupations Showing Steepest Gains
As businesses reopen following coronavirus shutdowns, contracting janitorial workers to properly sanitize facilities is essential for warding off the virus. This practice is backed by data, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the creation of 68,400 new janitorial service jobs to buildings and dwellings last month.

Update on Unemployment Insurance In the Wake of COVID-19
In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Committee Democrats urged Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia to issue guidance on the rights of workers to refuse to return to work if the work conditions present a risk to health or safety. In response, Scalia asserted that issuing temporary emergency standards “is to a large extent a function of state law.” In addition, Secretary Scalia opposed the extension of the US$600 weekly unemployment insurance supplement that expires July 31 because he expects “the economy to be deep into the process of reopening” at that time. Scalia told Senator Rob Portman he will, however, consider a temporary return-to-work bonus.

Fed to Hold Interest Rates Near Zero
The Federal Reserve voted unanimously to keep interest rates near zero through 2022, furthering its stimulus plan for economic recovery. Central bankers also announced their first economic projections of the year: a 6.5% fall in 2020, and gain of 5% and 6.5% in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Ultimately, though, “the pace of the recovery is dependent on the path of the coronavirus,” according to CNBC.

Other links of interest: