Coronavirus Government Response Update—OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQ

July 9, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 FAQ

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 expedited U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review for electrostatic spray application, the cleaning industry seeking federal assistance to address the coronavirus, the latest Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 FAQs, and more.

EPA Announces Expedited Review for Adding Electrostatic Spray Application Directions to Disinfectant Products for Use against SARS-CoV-2
The EPA issued guidance that provides for the expedited review of product registrations that would add electrostatic spraying directions to both new and currently registered disinfectant products—including those on EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2—that require review under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act. The guidance builds on the EPA’s previous announcement that certain product submissions intended for use against SARS-CoV-2 are under expedited review.

Cleaners on Front Lines Seek Federal Help to Address Virus
The nearly US$50 billion commercial cleaning industry that has been on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis is fighting to get recognition from state and federal policymakers, according to Bloomberg News. The industry is urging Congress to provide liability protections for employers, support cleaners obtaining priority access to protective equipment, and enact a tax credit for cleaning services, including the Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit Act (H.R. 7079), which ISSA strongly supports.

OSHA: Latest COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published updated FAQs to provide guidance to employers and employees about topics such as the best practices to prevent the spread of infection during the coronavirus pandemic, workers’ rights to express concerns about workplace conditions, testing for the coronavirus, worker training, and returning to work.

States Aim to Keep Businesses Damaged by Pandemic Afloat 
The coronavirus outbreak and the economic crisis have states fighting harder than ever to shore up businesses, both large and small, within their borders. Every state—no matter how big or how hard-hit by COVID-19—has created some form of assistance program to help local businesses access resources to withstand the pandemic.

Hires Hit One-Month Record High; Layoffs See New Low
May hirings surged to 6.5 million from 4.05 million in April—the biggest monthly gain ever—and separations in May plunged nearly 60% to 4.14 million—the largest drop, the U.S. Labor Department reported. The numbers help quantify the extent to which the jobs market repaired itself after an abrupt March and April shutdown. But even with the jump in hiring, May ended with 21 million unemployed workers, or nearly four for every job opening. While the quits rate, seen as a gauge of worker confidence, increased to 1.6% from 1.3% in April, the rate was still well below the 2.4% level from a year ago.

Other links of interest