The latest challenge in the COVID crisis confronting our industry is how the shutdown of certain states will affect the activities of various pool and spa industry sectors, particularly the service sector.
States under heavy lockdown such as California, New York and others are requiring that workers involved in “non-essential” enterprises stay home. At this moment, PHTA and individual members of our industry are lobbying state governments to exempt the pool and spa industry from the lockdown.
Several days ago, Homeland Security (through one of its branches, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) issued an advisory document which appears to support the industry’s position that pool and spa maintenance, as well as the manufacturing and distribution of sanitizing chemicals, is essential.
The document says the following industries are essential and should be exempt from the shutdown:
PUBLIC WORKS: “Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.”
PUBLIC HEALTH: “Manufacturers....warehouse operators, and distributors of...cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies...”
WATER AND WASTEWATER: “Chemical disinfectant suppliers for...personnel protection.”
CRITICAL MANUFACTURING: “Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for...chemical manufacturing...”
CHEMICAL: “Workers supporting the chemical supply chains...including workers at chemical manufacturing plants...workers at distribution facilities...”, and
“Workers who support the production and transportation of chlorine...”
It should be noted that the Homeland Security document is an advisory memo, and does not contain the force of law. At the moment, state and local governments are in charge of the COVID crisis response. However, workers across the country fighting for our industry in this crisis were cheered by the addition of an influential federal ally in making their case.
Direct link to the Homeland Security/CISA memo:
Letter from PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman to state and local officials, outlining sections in the memo that are applicable to our industry:
Message from PHTA to membership identifying recommended steps to lobby local government: