Across the country, steps are being taken by states to shut down businesses that are deemed non-essential or non life-sustaining in hopes of continuing to slow the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.
The “shelter-in-place” policies have led to some confusion within the landscape industry as to whether their services are determined to be essential or not. Many of the orders have seemingly inferred references to landscapers without explicitly naming them.
A preliminary list of “essential critical infrastructure workers” was provided by the Trump administration to guide state’s in making the ultimate determination to enact any "shelter-in-place" policies. Industries represented on that list include but are not limited to medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals believes that landscaping services are essential and therefore should be included with other essential and life-sustaining jobs.
The association is maintaining a state-by-state COVID-19 guidance on those policies that provides updates on the current policies.
In states that the explicit language is not available, the NALP is continuing its efforts to provide further evidence of the nature of landscaping business. The website is expected to be continually updated.
Andrew Bray, National Association of Landscape Professionals vice president of government relations is monitoring the situation and will be updating the site as much as possible.
He maintains NALP’s statement on how the landscaping industry has a role in providing essential services and protecting the health and safety of the communities they serve.
In addition, to the state-by-state guidelines, the NALP site also features a breakdown of the latest actions by Congress on the Families First Act.
Additional resources on COVID-19 can also be found on the NALP website.