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Guidance for identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the critical services and functions during the COVID-19 pandemic response

Functioning critical infrastructure is imperative during the to the COVID-19  for both public health and safety as well as community well-being. Certain critical infrastructure industries have a special responsibility in these times to continue operations. 

This guidance and accompanying list are intended to support State, Local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic .

This document gives guidance to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions and the private sector on defining essential critical infrastructure workers. Promoting the ability of such workers to continue to work during periods of community restriction, access management, social distancing, or closure orders/directives is crucial to and continuity of essential functions. CISA made a technical update to the document on March 23, 2020 to clarify the description of a small number of essential services and functions in the list. 

If you have feedback or additional questions, please reach out to: CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov

Supported Use Cases

Considerations for government and business

This list was developed in consultation with federal agency partners, industry experts, and State and local officials, and is based on several key principles:

  1. efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are locally executed, State managed, and federally supported
  2. Everyone should follow guidance from the CDC, as well as State and local government officials, regarding strategies to limit disease spread.
  3. Workers should be encouraged to work remotely when possible and focus on core business activities. Inperson, non-mandatory activities should be delayed until the resumption of normal operations.
  4. When continuous remote work is not possible, businesses should enlist strategies to reduce the likelihood of spreading the disease. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, separating staff by off-setting shift hours or days and/or social distancing. These steps can preserve the workforce and allow operations to continue. Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. For more information, email CISA.CAT@cisa.dhs.gov; Facebook.com/CISA; Linkedin.com/company/cybersecurityand-infrastructure-security-agency
  5. All organizations should implement their business continuity and pandemic plans, or put plans in place if they do not exist. Delaying implementation is not advised and puts at the viability of the business and the health and safety of the employees. 
  6. In the modern economy, reliance on technology and just-in-time supply chains means that certain workers must be able to access certain sites, facilities, and assets to ensure continuity of functions.
  7. Government employees, such as managers, and the business community to establish and maintain lines of communication.
  8. When government and businesses engage in discussions about critical infrastructure workers, they to consider the implications of business operations beyond the jurisdiction where the asset or facility is located. Businesses can have sizeable economic and societal impacts as well as supply chain dependencies that are geographically distributed.
  9. Whenever possible, jurisdictions should align access and movement control policies related to critical infrastructure workers to lower the burden of workers crossing jurisdictional boundaries.

Related CM functions

Identifying essential critical infrastructure workers

This guidance provides detailed instructions for identifying the essential infrastructure workers from following critical infrastructure domains:

  • Healthcare/Public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works and infrastructure support services
  • Communication and information technologies
  • Other community- or government-based operation and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical
  • Defense industrial base
  • Commercial facilities
  • Residential/Shelter Facilities and services
  • Hygiene products and services

Related CM functions

Addressed hazards
Innovation stage
Crisis Cycle Phase
Crisis size
Essential critical infrastructure workers and sectors (from https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19)
eu Portfolio of Solutions web site has been initially developed in the scope of DRIVER+ project. Today, the service is managed by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH., for the benefit of the European Management. PoS is endorsed and supported by the Disaster Competence Network Austria (DCNA) as well as by the STAMINA and TeamAware H2020 projects.