PIDA, along with APPA, PFI, PIJAC and WPA, and 106 other associations, which all together represent almost the entire the whole U.S. economy, signed a coalition letter urging officials to use the U.S. Department of Homeland’s Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines as a uniform baseline for all future closure and shelter-in-place actions. Click here for a copy of the letter. The letter has been delivered to the White House and CISA and is in the process of being sent out to Governors and Mayors.

Yesterday afternoon, the CISA guidance document was quietly updated. Downloading the memorandum and guidance document from their website still leads to the same introductory memo, dated March 19th, but it now includes version 1.1 of the guidance document. Under the category of “Food and Agriculture,” the first bullet has been updated to read:

“Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail that sells human food, animal/pet food, and beverage products.”

DHS states that the CISA list is advisory in nature and is not a federal directive or standard. The letter states: “As you consider national, statewide or local measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, we respectfully request that our industries be consistently designated essential and permitted to maintain operations throughout this challenging time, using the DHS definition as a minimum guide to the fullest extent practicable.”

If this is accepted, then any closure order that exempts the CISA list en banc will automatically exempt pet retailers. This would eliminate the PIJAC-led effort to pursue explicit exemptions state-by-state.

Visit the PIDA COVID-19 Resources Page.