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COVID-19

Circumstances around COVID-19 in the U.S. are rapidly changing. We will be collecting information and resources, and sharing via this page to help small businesses and SBEAPs stay abreast of environmental health and compliance guidance relevant to small businesses, as well as resources to help small businesses navigate the resulting economic impacts.

EPA COVID-19 Enforcement Policy

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EPA has issued a temporary policy, retroactive to March 13, 2020, that allows it to exercise enforcement discretion. The EPA will post a notification at least seven days prior to terminating this temporary policy. If facilities are not able to meet certain compliance requirements in a timely manner or at all, the EPA may choose to forego normal penalties. Note that leniency is dependent on good-faith efforts by each facility to comply with requirements to the best of its ability. Different situations will be handled differently, so if you think this may be relevant to your business, read the full memo to see how you should proceed. Criminal violations are not covered under this policy and will not be treated differently. This policy is for the EPA only, and states and local governments may have different responses.

Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

The economic toll of this pandemic has been particularly difficult for small businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest disaster relief loans to help them recover. Small business owners in all states and territories are eligible to apply.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

CO- is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's resource on responding to coronavirus for small business. It offers information on loans available to small businesses and advice for operating safely and minimizing the risk of infection for employees and customers.

Masks-- updated April 6, 2020

If you use masks as PPE in your workplace, please save them for work-related use. Masks are in limited supply right now, and a pandemic respiratory disease is all the more reason to protect yourself from respiratory hazards. However, the CDC is now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public spaces to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is still best to maintain social distance as much as possible, but masks can help prevent transmission in situations where keeping a full six feet away may not be possible. Also see the World Health Organization's guidance on using masks properly.

For those using N95 respirators in the workplace, OSHA has released new guidance on reducing the need for N95s and finding alternatives for some situations.

Other Resources

Information by state