March 23, 2020 3:41 PM | Anonymous

Dear GIA members, 

We know many of you are fielding calls, emails and texts with questions about the impact of today’s Order from Governor Baker.  We also know there are a lot of “experts” out there who have their own opinion on the various policies, exemptions and designations that have been made at the federal and state levels.  We have read and analyzed the latest information directly from the language of the Order itself and from the federal (DHS) guidelines.  Below please find our interpretation. 

  • As Bob Mann noted, on March 19th, the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued guidance to assist states that identifies 14 critical infrastructure sectors whose workers provide services and functions that are essential to support a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is the underlying document in terms of determining whether or not your service is essential.
  • Governor Baker’s Emergency order requires all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.  Businesses that are designated as essential are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.
  • Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.
  • Based on these parameters, most GIA businesses either meet the federal list or can continue to operate if doing so “through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order”.

In addition, the Order also includes a new limitation on gatherings of more than 10 people, covering any activity that brings together more than 10 people in any confined indoor or outdoor space.  The Order does not prohibit gatherings, athletic and recreational activities in unenclosed, outdoor spaces as long as participants are not brought into close, physical contact.  This means, in our opinion, that golf courses can continue to operate if adhering to this new limitation.

We are awaiting additional feedback from DAR but wanted to get this out – I know some trades are asking members to respond to the EOHED site to request this designation but we don’t want dozens or hundreds of similar companies all reaching out on their own.  We need to read between the lines here and just because it may not specifically spell out landscaping services, we see enough wiggle room under the Public Works category.

Stephen A. Boksanski, Principal

BCB Government Relations, Inc.

44 School Street, Suite 710

Boston, MA 02108

617-423-6600 | 617-835-6394 (m)

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