COVID-19 Update

From OLCA President, Jeremy Tobin & OLCA Lobbyist, Bill Cross

On March 23, Governor Kate Brown a Stay Home Executive Order to reduce the spread of coronavirus in Oregon.  This new policy orders Oregonians to stay in their homes whenever possible and includes stronger language around approved activities and business activities.  The order is modeled after the edicts of other states and cities though is not quite as sweeping in terms of the businesses that will be required to close.  The order includes a number of exceptions for businesses and other services that are deemed essential including landscaping.  Stores have until midnight, March 24, to comply and offices have until March 25.

Construction, manufacturing, landscaping and other essential businesses may continue so long as they "ensure that their employees are maintaining social distancing measures."  So long as your landscaping business can maintain the six-foot distance from others requirement at their places of work and the work sites in the field, they are permitted to continue to operate.  Transportation to and from work sites would require to comply to this same distancing requirement so employees might have to drive in separate vehicles or provide their own vehicle for transport to and from the work site.

Those who defy the order can be charged with endangering public health, a Class C misdemeanor.  People found to have violated her order could be jailed for up to 30 days or fined $1,250.  The order does not directly address travel, hotels or vacation homes and rentals.

We know these are trying and uncertain times for all of us. We have been diligently working with State and Local authorities to ensure that our businesses can safely operate during potential stay at home orders.  As the situation is rapidly changing, please use this resource page for updates.

We will continue to work for our industry and will keep you informed as best we can during this time.

Stay safe and be well.

Jeremy Tobin
2020 OLCA President


SAIF's Coronavirus Worker Safety Fund - Accepting Applications

Last week SAIF announced that their board of directors had approved a $10 million coronavirus worker safety fund. The fund is designed to promote employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease exposures by helping businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

The application is now available at saif.com/safetyfund, and they will accept submissions until all funds have been expended or until the fund is terminated.

The fund helps pay for expenses tied to preventing the spread of coronavirus at businesses or mitigating other coronavirus-related costs. Funds may be approved for costs related to worksite cleaning and disinfection, reopening businesses safely after a coronavirus-related closure, workspace modification or redesign related to safety or social distancing, and mental health and wellness initiatives.

If you have questions specific to the safety fund, please contact [email protected]


NALP Operating Guidelines Resource

Our industry has a duty to stop the spread of COVID-19. Today, NALP released new operating guidelines to be used as a reference to help you work in a way that reduces the spread of the virus. 


$2T Stimulus package approved

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put a major strain on every aspect of daily life around the world, including the United States. As spread of the disease shows no sign of slowing down, there is a steadily increasing concern in the United States regarding the health and wellness of not only our citizens, but the economy as well. In response, the United States Congress has been negotiating a historic stimulus package to address the havoc caused by the pandemic.

It appears Congress’ hard work has paid off, as they just passed a $2 trillion package to provide a jolt to the economy reeling from the deadly virus. All Americans would do well to understand the package’s provisions, as it will offer direct relief to businesses and individuals alike. Click HERE for more information. 


Oregon State Police Emergency Declaration Enforcement FAQ

Date 03/24/2020
In an attempt to answer frequently asked questions relating to the enforcement of the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12 “Stay Home, Save Lives,” the Oregon State Police is offering guidance. Click HERE for more information.


OLCA Member Shared Resources

The following resources have been shared by OLCA members to help fellow landscape companies. The positions expressed are solely their own.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

LaPorte, OLCA Member Endorsed Program Provider, has provided a slide deck that their team has assembled from several credible sources. They have built this presentation, in attempt to educate the industry all on recent legislation around Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Covid-19 testing, tax implications, etc. They hope this speaks to many of the questions/concerns you may be having.  Click HERE to view the presentation.

Adam Harris, CIC
LaPorte
https://www.laporte-insurance.com/


NALP Take Action on NEW Grassroots Letter to Legislators

As states work to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, policies are put into place that define what businesses are essential. Landscaping is not explicitly mentioned in many of these documents, rather the services that landscapers provide are inferred. We need your help to further confirm these policies so that landscapers can continue to provide our essential services that keep properties safe, sanitary, and in operation. Using this link, you can quickly and easily message all of your state elected officials, asking them to support landscape contractors as essential businesses.


COVID-19 Flyers 

Social Distancing Flyer (English):  https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2268.pdf
Stop the Spread of Germs (English): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf
Stop the Spread of Germs (Spanish):  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs-sp.pdf
CDC Workplace, School and Home Guidance: https://files.constantcontact.com/6229da79001/b0bb6f91-7afe-4ddb-92e2-c543d0765178.pdf

For more flyers from the CDC, use the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/factsheets.html

For more flyers from the OHA, use the following link: https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19


 From Governor Kate Brown

Executive Order: Stay Home Except for Essential Needs

On March 23, I issued Executive Order 20-12, effective immediately until further notice. This is a statewide order. Failure to comply with the order will be considered an immediate danger to public health. For more information, see the latest press release.  In short, here is what is allowed and what is not. If you’re not sure about an activity, skip it. Staying at home as much as possible during this time will save lives.

Allowed (must keep 6 feet from others):

  • Hospitals and health care
  • Grocery stores
  • Banks
  • Pharmacies
  • Take-out/delivery from restaurants and bars
  • Pet stores
  • Gas stations
  • Certain retail stores
  • Outdoor activities like walking your dog, jogging, or biking in your neighborhood
  • Child care facilities and babysitters (only if abiding by new rules)

Not Allowed:

  • Social gatherings (parties, celebrations) with people from outside of your household
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars
  • Nightclubs and concerts
  • Shopping at outdoor or indoor malls and retail complexes
  • Fitness: Gyms, sports and fitness centers, health clubs, and exercise studios, dance and yoga studios
  • Grooming: Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, massage parlors, non-medical wellness spas, cosmetic stores, tattoo parlors
  • Entertainment: Theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys, music concerts, sporting events, museums, skating rinks
  • Outdoors: State parks, playgrounds, campgrounds, pools, skate parks, festivals

For more information go to: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19


Social Distancing Protocols

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidelines that are routinely updated. They can also be accessed in Spanish. Please check both sources for updates. 

The basic social distancing and safety protocols you should implement are:

  • Provide the CDC-recommended distance of 6 feet between workers and customers; 
  • Provide hand washing stations, routine disinfection, identify and mitigate pathways of exposure;
  • Stagger work schedules (if feasible);
  • Decrease social contacts in the workplace (e.g. limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.);
  • Encourage sick or potentially exposed employees to stay home.

Landscape Contractors Board

LCB’s Website
LCB’s Website has a COVID-19 informational page.  All information affecting LCB licensing during the COVID-19 outbreak will be there.

Limited In-Person Services – Please call in advance
As a temporary measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 the LCB is providing in-person services at the LCB offices in Salem with a prior appointment only. Most LCB services can be completed via email, mail or fax or other means, eliminating the need for an in-person visit. Please contact our helpful staff and we will do our best to assist you or set up an appointment for in-person services as needed. Please contact the LCB for more information: 503-967-6291 Ext. 221 or [email protected]


Oregon Department of Agriculture

ODA has created a specific webpage oda.direct/COVID19 to provide a variety of information for all our partners.  Check frequently as information will be updated.


Oregon Employment Department

The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department. This summary on this webpage provides general guidance to employers, workers, and job seekers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus: https://www.oregon.gov/employ/Pages/COVID-19.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Oregon Businesses

Resources for Oregon businesses looking for assistance in the event of local, regional, or statewide economic impacts due to identified disasters.  More details can be found at https://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/.

Business Planning, Counseling, and General Resources

Financial Assistance

Work with your financial institution to explore refinancing, deferred payments, and other appropriate tools for your situation.

General Assistance

“Nearly” Bank Qualified

For businesses with limited time in operations and collateral, obtaining private financing can be challenging. If your financial institution turns you down, inquire about these programs offered by the federal government and the state of Oregon.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

  • 7(a) guarantee
  • SBA Express
  • Export Express
  • Export Working Capital
  • Veterans Advantage
  • CAPLines

United States Department of Agriculture

Business Oregon

Alternative Lenders

These entities offer direct loans to businesses that do not qualify for loans from banks and credit unions. They are usually community-based organizations that can generally offer loans from $5,000 to $250,000 and often have more flexible repayment terms.

Business Oregon

Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI)

Oregon’s Economic Development Districts

Other Micro Lenders

COVID-19 Tax Relief Options

Oregon Department of Revenue


 

NALP Coronavirus News & Resources

NEW State by State Guidance

For the latest business operating regulations, visit our newly launched, and regularly updated, web page with the latest information about the situation in each state.

The Latest News & Resources

Federal Resources

Member Shared Resources

Many companies are scrambling to deal with this quickly evolving situation. The following resources have been shared by NALP members to help fellow landscape companies. The positions expressed are solely their own. If you would like to share your company's resources, or would like to suggest resources that could help your business, let us know via email at [email protected]

Company Plan to Deal with Coronavirus - Provided by Sun Valley Landscaping, Omaha, Nebraska
Pandemic Plan - Provided by Gachina Landscape, Menlo Park, California
Coronavirus Company Safety Plan - Provided by Pacific Landscape Management

Join the Facebook Discussion Group

Want to talk with others about coronavirus planning at landscape or lawn care companies? Join our newly created, private Facebook Group

Safety 

  • We suggest that companies monitor and comply with all Federal, State, or Local advisories and precautionary measures, and closely monitor employee health and, as the CDC advises, actively encourage sick employees to stay home and notify their supervisors if an employee has had close with someone who has contracted COVID-19. Read the CDC Guidance for Business and Employers for more information. 
  • COVID-19 is a recordable illness. OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904 mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log. Note that while 29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2)(viii) exempts recording of the common cold and flu, however, COVID-19 is a recordable illness when a worker is infected on the job. Visit OSHA’s Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements page for more information.
  • Be extra vigilant about disinfecting Personal Protective Equipment PPE equipment. Many industry job functions have the benefit of PPE. Ensure that the equipment is properly disinfected.

 

Business Planning

The CDC suggests that employers plan to be able to respond in a flexible way to varying levels of severity of a possible outbreak and be prepared to refine business response plans as needed and communicate  regularly with employees. A few things to consider include ways to reduce transmission among staff, protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, maintaining business operations, and minimizing adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains.

Key considerations
  • Disease severity (i.e., number of people who are sick, hospitalization and death rates) in the community where the business is located
  • Prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and their family members, dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness.
  • Cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that the workplace can operate even if key staff members are absent.
  • Explore whether you can establish policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting for some employees) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees.
  • Be prepared to change your business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations if needed).
  • Coordination with state and local health officials is strongly encouraged for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside. Since the intensity of an outbreak may differ according to geographic location, local health officials will be issuing guidance specific to their communities.
  • Share your plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibilities, and pay and benefits will be available to them.
  • Limit employee huddles and in-person meetings

Irrigation Association

The Irrigation Association understands and supports the aggressive preventive measures being taken across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 virus. This is an unprecedented situation, which has required many of us to adjust our normal practices. We are monitoring the development, regulations and guidance surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.  Use this link to access the Irrigation Association COVID-19 Resources page.