Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources


Corona webpage graphic

The Water Quality Association is closely following the information and guidance around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Watch this video with WQA Global Regulatory and Government Affairs Manager Kathleen Burbidge to learn about accessing our coronavirus resources.

The Water Quality Association is working with states that have issued Shelter-in-Place directives to their residents. We have been assured that, broadly, water treatment products and services fit within the category of essential services designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which are allowed to remain open for business due to their role in safeguarding America’s drinking water.

Specifically, WQA has been in touch with officials in Connecticut, Delaware,Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. We have also been in contact with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Earlier, WQA issued an open letter emphasizing that member companies' products and services as "essential" due to their role in safeguarding America’s drinking water. Read the letter here

WQA has also sent a letter to the White House and a similar letter to Congressional leaders supporting the government's response to the coronavirus crisis and making recommendations to ensure that Americans have access to a safe, clean and reliable water supply for the duration of this crisis. Read the letter to the President here.

Check out our Government Update page as we track legislation being proposed or newly signed into law.

For WQA members, we have provided a checklist to offer guidance during the crisis. We recommend that you print out a copy of the DHS Essential Services designation and the WQA checklist and give to all employees who remain on the job during the crisis in the event they are questioned. Please let us know if you have any other suggestions by contacting us at wqa@wqa.org.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, an economic stimulus plan aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Americans and introducing the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, an expanded emergency FMLA, and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act to the nation’s employers. These Acts will become effective the first week of April and extend into late December. The U.S. Department of Labor is required to provide a sample employee notification letter with further implementation details by Wednesday, March 25. While more information is anticipated in the coming week, we have extracted some of the key points from the Acts and provided them for your awareness below. 

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act: 

  • Any individual employed by an employer for at least 30 days (before the first day of leave) may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to allow an employee, who is unable to work or work from home, to care for the employee’s child (<18 years old) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. This is now the only qualifying requirement for Emergency FMLA.
  • The first 10 days (rather than 14 days) of Emergency FMLA may be unpaid. During this 10-day period, an employee may elect to substitute any PTO to cover some or all of the 10-day unpaid period. After the 10-day period, the employer generally will be expected to pay full-time employees at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate. Part-time employees will be paid based on the average number of hours worked. 
     
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act: 
The Act provides protections in the form of paid sick leave for eligible employees who are unable to work or work from home because the employee is –
 
  1. Subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. Advised by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  3. Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical diagnosis;
  4. Caring for an individual subject to bullets 1 and 2 above;
  5. Caring for the employee’s child if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to public health emergency;
  6. Experiencing any other substantially similar condition.
     

CDC Guidelines:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided the following information about the virus: WQA encourages all member companies to follow the guidance and recommendations of the CDC for your workers and business practices throughout this health crisis. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided the following information about the virus:

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  •  Steps you can take to protect yourself include cleaning your hands often and avoiding close contact with others.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid close contact with others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.

WQA encourages all member companies to follow the guidance and recommendations of the CDC for your workers and business practices throughout this health crisis.

The following links will be helpful in providing ongoing guidance.

World Health Organization: 
World Health Organization (WHO) Covid-19 Update

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  •  Steps you can take to protect yourself include cleaning your hands often and avoiding close contact with others.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Avoid close contact with others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.


Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Business & Industry Resources:  In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has provided a Coronavirus Response Toolkit with suggested messaging and graphics that you can re-purpose. Example Post:

  CoronaCapture637199621104099751 Suggested messaging:

WQA will continue to update this page with relevant information as it becomes available. Also, watch for updates in our weekly eNews (WQA Update) and by email. 

Check out our Government Update page as we track legislation being proposed or newly signed into law.