COVID-19: Industry Resources

Last Updated: November 8, 2021
The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly.  USA Rice is curating the best resources for our industry and including them here.  

If you can't find what you are looking for, please email GATeam@usarice.com.  For media inquiries, please email media@usarice.com.

Consumer information and resources can be found here.

Food Safety

Food Safety Protocol

Food Safety Protocol 

Visit FDA's "Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 19" page for the most up-to-date information on Food Safety Protocol during the pandemic. 

U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Farm & Markets

Farm Service Agency

Farm Service Agency


Visit USDA's Farm Service Agency webpage for the most up-to-date information on Coronavirus and USDA assistance for Farmers. 

Agriculture Workforce (H-2A Visa Program)

H-2A Visa Program

USDA continues to update its website with information and guidance at www.farmers.gov/manage/h2a.

Business Operations

Guidance for Workplace

USDA COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan

USDA updated its COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan on November 5, 2021, which includes vaccination and other guidance for department employees, as well as contractors and visitors to various USDA facilities.

Contractors

Detailed guidance can be found at the link here starting on Page 6. Those companies participating in USDA commodity procurement programs are exempt, as stipulated below (found on Page 7 of the same link).

“The Executive Order, however, exempts (1) grants; (2) contracts, contract-like instruments, and agreements with Indian Tribes under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act; (3) contracts or subcontracts below the simplified acquisition threshold; (4) employees who perform work outside the United States or its outlying areas; and (5) contracts or subcontracts solely for the provision of products (including commodity purchases).”

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) released guidance for businesses and employers to plan and respond to COVID-19. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


This rule has been temporarily blocked in Federal Court as of November 8, 2021. The most up-to-date information on this subject can be found at https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2

On November 4, 2021, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.

The agency outlines in its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that employers must get the employees vaccinated by January 4, 2022 and require that unvaccinated employees produce a negative test on at least a weekly basis. 

Additional requirements will include that employers pay employees for the time it takes to get vaccinated and that they ensure unvaccinated employees wear a face mask while in the workplace.

Employers are subject to requirements for reporting and recordkeeping that are spelled out in the detailed OSHA materials available here. While the testing requirement for unvaccinated workers will begin after January 4th, employers must be in compliance with all other requirements – such as providing paid-time for employees to get vaccinated and masking for unvaccinated workers – on December 5th.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

In 2020, EPA introduced regulatory flexibilities to ensure that critical antimicrobial products remained available as the country responded to the COVID-19 public health emergency. As supply chains have stabilized and disinfectant products expected to kill SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) have become consistently available to consumers, the agency has determined that this flexibility is no longer needed.  

EPA will terminate the Temporary Amendment to Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 98-10, effective September 15, 2022. Acknowledging that registrants have made changes in their supply chains and may require time to adjust their contractual commitments, EPA is providing 12 months’ notice before the termination takes effect. Registrants must ensure that by September 15, 2022, their product is produced using a source of active ingredient identified in the product’s approved confidential statement of formula or otherwise complies with the requirements of PR Notice 98-10.  

To read the memorandum addressing this termination, see EPA’s PR Notice 98-10 webpage.

To read the guidance in full and to learn more about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard, visit EPA's webpage.

Trade

Border Closings/Travel Advisories

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)

On November 8, 2021, the U.S. lifted its ban on international travelers to enter the country.

For international travelers, before boarding a flight to the US from a foreign country, all air passengers- 2 years or older – are required to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result, within a time period based on their vaccination status, or present documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days. Air passengers will also be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true.

For vaccinated passengers, a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days old will be accepted. For unvaccinated passengers, a negative COVID-19 test result no more than one day old will be accepted. 

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html for more information regarding travel and COVID-19. 

U.S. Department of State

Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel.html for more information on international travel and COVID-19. 

Additional Resources

USA Rice News

USA Rice COVID-19 News