The letter is intended to help officials nationwide avert any potential confusion that may arise over what qualifies as “critical infrastructure” in their various responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Without a uniform or federal definition of “critical infrastructure,” as the letter explains, states and local governments may take well-intentioned actions to safeguard their communities – but in so doing, could inadvertently and unnecessarily threaten the supply of critical products needed to help combat the pandemic. The letter outlines several actions for regions, state and local officials to take now to help prevent this from happening:
Achieve as uniform a definition and consistent application as possible, while recognizing the need for states or localities to provide broader definitions of critical infrastructure based on their own state or local circumstances;
Eliminate any artificial barriers to the transportation of critical products;
Ensure the shipment of goods from manufacturing facilities to retailers; and
Confirm curfews do not impede a healthy workforce from getting to and from manufacturing facilities and retailers during all necessary hours of operation.