Industry News

WOOD PRODUCTS DECLARED ESSENTIAL INDUSTRY BY U.S. GOVERNMENT

Friday, March 20, 2020

Springfield, Ore. – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Thursday (March 19) identified the wood products industry as an “essential critical infrastructure workforce” in the nation’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This designation underscores the critical role that our more than 3,500 team members play in producing high-quality wood products to aid in the construction of affordable housing, emergency shelters, and healthcare facilities across North America,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “Our industry will continue to support the supply chain of materials critical to response and recovery efforts.”

The guidance lists “workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper and other wood products,” along with healthcare providers, law enforcement and public safety, and utility and transportation workers. These workers are part of the “overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure” during the pandemic response.

Although the federal guidance is advisory only, on March 19, 2020, the State of California issued an order directing all individuals living in the State to “stay at home . . . except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.” (Emphasis added). The California order adopted the federal guidance, which now sets the standard in California for critical infrastructure. Consequently, Roseburg’s Weed, Calif., veneer facility will continue to operate as part of our efforts to supply critical building products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other states and other jurisdictions may develop their own lists of essential industries and workers who would be excluded from broad “shelter in place” or similar quarantine orders.

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