Some U.S. states permit forest products industry to continue operating amidst shutdown
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Following the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labour identifying the forest products industry as an "essential critical infrastructure workforce in the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic", NHLA provided an update on the three Appalachian states that have allowed their forest products industry to continue operating during shutdowns and shelter in place, with the information provided by Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers, Inc. (AHMI):
The PA Governor's Office has amended its list of companies permitted to work as "life-sustaining business only" to now INCLUDE sawmills. The change came late Saturday and sawmills join logging and forestry. Veneer plants and secondary wood processing are ordered to close but can apply for a waiver to operate.
The state Department of Agriculture and Markets has revised the guidance for "Essential Businesses" to include forest products and those involved in forestry operations, logging, manufacture of lumber and paper products, and the distribution of those products are "essential and exempt from the State's guidance for workforce reduction."
The Governor issued a stay-at-home order on Sunday, saying only essential businesses, as defined by the Homeland Security document (which includes forest products), are permitted to stay open. Gov. Mike DeWine said," these are generally the accepted businesses that are essential for us to continue to live.” The order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and will remain in effect until April 6.