CGA Industry Toolkit for COVID-19 Response

(Last updated: April 4, 2020)

In this online toolkit, we’re providing resources, links, and other critical information related to the novel Coronavirus and COVID-19 disease, to assist members of the Compressed Gas Association in your response efforts during this pandemic. This content will be updated on a frequent basis, so be sure to refresh your web browser to see all the latest news and information.

Toolkit Table of Contents

Top Stories / Featured Resources

DHS CISA Declares Medical Gases “Essential” to COVID-19 Response

On March 19, 2020 (updated March 28, 2020), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued guidance on “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DHS list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” is intended “to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”

In its guidance to state and local officials, DHS defines the following workers as “essential”: “Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of … medical gases.” Therefore, any state or local quarantine or shelter in place declarations should include medical gas workers as “essential” to the response to COVID-19.

U.S. Government News & Resources

We highlight here news, links, and resources related to the U.S. government response to COVID-19, at the federal, state, and local level.

For additional news and resources, see the U.S. Government page of this COVID-19 industry toolkit.

U.S. State & Local Government COVID-19 Response Trackers

NAM Tools Track Emerging U.S. State and Local Emergency Response Affecting Manufacturing Operations

As a growing number of U.S. cities, states, and counties issue and revise emergency orders to stop the spread of COVID-19, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is working to help manufacturers nationwide assess and understand the implications of these orders. The following resource provides a snapshot to help navigate this rapidly-changing environment, helping U.S. manufacturers understand how various emergency orders affect their ability to operate, and specifically, whether they qualify as “essential” business operations exempt from mass population event limitations. NAM is updating this resource on a daily basis.

See NAM U.S. State COVID Operations Snapshot (PDF)

NAM has also developed an online interactive map, showing COVID-19 resources gathered from its state partners and local governments across all 50 U.S. states.

See NAM State Partners and Local Governments Resource Map
(scroll down to see the map)

MultiState Assoc. Emerging U.S. State and Local Government Response Tracker

MultiState Associates, a state and local government relations firm, has developed a google sheet Dashboard to track U.S. state and local government response to COVID-19. The company also provides maps and other resources for tracking how states and localities are responding to the crisis.

See MultiState Associates COVID-19 U.S. Gov Activity Dashboard (Google Sheet)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Essential Workforce Tracker

Lists U.S. state shelter orders, whether CISA Essential Workers guidance is referenced, and waiver requests. USCOC is updating this tracker on a regular basis.

See USCOC Essential Workforce Tracker (PDF)

U.S. DOT FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration for Transportation of Essential Medical Supplies

On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Emergency Declaration that provided regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations engaged in direct assistance in transportation of essential supplies, equipment, and persons related to the COVID-19 outbreaks in the 50 states.

In its Emergency Declaration, DOT identifies as “essential” the transportation of “medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.” Therefore, any state or local quarantine or shelter in place declarations should include medical gas transportation “essential” to the treatment of COVID-19.

FMCSA has also published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to this Emergency Declaration.

FDA Provides Guidance: Notifying FDA of a Permanent Discontinuation or Interruption in Manufacturing

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a Level 1 guidance document titled “Notifying FDA of a Permanent Discontinuance or Interruption in Manufacturing Under Section 506C of the FD&C Act”.  The requirement for reporting was included in FDASIA in 2012 so has been in effect for several years but this final guidance was just published (in late March 2020) without the opportunity for comment as a result of COVID-19…

Other News & Resources

Food and Drug Administration

FDA Focuses on Safety of Regulated Products While Scaling Back Domestic Inspections
Date: March 18, 2020

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Date: March 2020

Canada Government News & Resources

We highlight here news, links, and resources related to the Canada government response to COVID-19, at the federal, provincial, and local level.

For additional news and resources, see the Canada Government page of this COVID-19 industry toolkit.

Transport Canada Issues Temporary Certificates Related to Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Transport Canada issued two temporary certificates related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR), to provide temporary regulatory relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Certificate TU 0750 allows workers with expired recurrent training to continue working. Certificate TU 0751 allows the use of cylinders that are out of requalification date but are in all other ways acceptable for filling and use.

We recommend that all Compressed Gas Association members read these temporary certificates carefully to understand how they impact your individual operations.

CGA Suggests That Canada Designate Medical Gases As “Essential”

On March 22, 2020, CGA sent letters to Canada government officials at Health Canada and Public Health Canada, recommending that medical gases be designated “essential.” A similar message will be sent to officials at Transport Canada. Excerpts from that communication are provided here:

“As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly, and as the government is mobilizing Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help fight the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of all Canadians, the compressed gas industry is here to assist…

Over one million patients are treated with medical gases, such as oxygen, every day… The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has made the need for medical gases even more acute today. CGA member companies, as well as the rest of the medical, food and industrial gas industry are implementing their business continuity plans and ramping up their operations to meet the growing need for medical gases to ensure the supply of life saving medical gases, such as oxygen, is not interrupted.

In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security, through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, recently released guidance on “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The DHS list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” is intended “to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.” In its guidance, DHS defines “Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of … medical gases” as “essential.”

CGA strongly suggests Canada consider establishing similar guidance on “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” under the “Critical Infrastructure Framework” already established by Public Safety Canada and that such guidance include medical gas supply as “essential.” This guidance would help ensure the supply of life saving medical gases is not interrupted should Canada or its provinces and territories impose quarantine or shelter in place declarations.”

CGA News & Resources

We highlight here resources and news from the Compressed Gas Association to assist CGA members in your response to COVID-19.

For additional news and resources, see the CGA page of this COVID-19 industry toolkit.

CGA Committees Hold Recurring Roundtables to Discuss COVID-19

CGA’s Safety and Health Committee and Security Committee are holding roundtable sessions via web conference to provide updates, share practices, and ask questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These sessions are open to all CGA members. Please contact the CGA staff member listed below for each committee to RSVP for the meeting and receive web conference details.

Safety and Health Committee Roundtable
Schedule: Tuesdays and Fridays
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Eastern)
Staff Contact: Jill Thompson

Security Committee Roundtable
Schedule: Fridays
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM (Eastern)
Staff Contact: Christina Hartz