Governor Brown’s plan to re-start commercial activities affected by last month’s executive orders continues to take shape. It will be based on this two-part decision model:
I. Gating Criteria
A downward trajectory of reported influenza and COVID-19 symptoms over a 14-day period.
A declining trajectory of documented cases of COVID-19 and positive tests as a percentage of total tests over a 14-day period.
The hospital capacity to treat all patients without crisis care and the establishment of a robust testing program for at-risk health care workers, including emerging antibody testing.
II. Core Preparedness
Capabilities for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
Health care system capacity, including adequate PPE and ICU resources.
Plans to protect high risk individuals, employees and customers, including methods for implementing social distancing protocols and systems to monitor conditions and mitigate any rebounds or outbreaks.
More detail on the plan is provided in this latest version of the Governor’s Reopening Oregon framework.
The working group focused on jump-starting the Restaurant / Food Service segment within that framework includes wine industry representatives Mike McNally, Carrie Kalscheuer and Dan Marca. Mike, Carrie and Dan presented this two-page summary of operational guidelines for winery tasting rooms earlier this week after it was endorsed by 10 industry groups and associations from around the state. The draft guidelines are not yet final and will be reviewed further by the Governor’s office and other state agencies.
On the federal level, President Trump signed House Resolution 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, into law last Friday. The legislation reloads the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with another $321 billion and pumps $50 billion into the Disaster Loans program account along with an additional $10 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Here are the applications for the PPP and the EIDL program.
An important section of H.R. 266 expands EIDL so that the Small Business Administration will now accept applications from agriculture business owners who had not previously been eligible for consideration. Look under the Education section in the OWB’s COVID-19 toolkit for recordings of this month’s two webinars on the CARES Act and more details on federal financial assistance packages. During the most recent of those sessions, these slides were presented with helpful information on unemployment benefits, tax credits and some advice on calculating an owner’s compensation for a PPP loan application.
Closer to home, OLCC published this temporary advisory last week notifying wineries of the Commission’s position that “virtual wine tastings” may not be hosted on premises of a winery holding one or more of these three licenses: Full On-Premises, Limited On-Premises or Off-Premises Sales. The Oregon Winegrowers Association and Davis Wright Tremaine will be in touch with OLCC for more information, which OWA will share when it’s available.
Yesterday, April 28, Oregon OSHA held a webinar on proposed rulemaking related to COVID-19 requirements for agricultural facilities and worker housing. The Oregon Wine Council reports that new OSHA rules will be in effect starting Monday, May 11 and remain in place into October unless rescinded.
New rules are expected to include these requirements:
Employers must appoint one or more social distancing officers for their facility. The officer must be an employee.
Effective Monday, June 1, the ratio of required toilets will change to 1 for every 10 workers (currently 1 per 20).
Toilets and hand washing stations must be sanitized three times daily, and hand sanitizer is not a replacement for hand washing stations.
Other high contact surfaces must be sanitized twice daily.
If an employer learns of a COVID-19-positive case in its workforce, the employer must report it to the state.
Sanitation training must be provided to employees.
For employer-provided housing: bunk beds are prohibited, and beds must be six feet apart or have a barrier between them.
Policies and procedures are required for isolating the sick.
During transit, at least three feet of distance must be maintained in vehicles and facial coverings must be worn by all passengers and drivers. Also, high contact areas within the vehicles must be sanitized before each trip.
Transportation rules are not applicable to personal vehicles.
For information on continuing education events and discounts, charitable support opportunities and a recap of the latest Oregon wine review written by Erin Brooks in The Wine Advocate, connect here to OWB’s Grapevine newsletter.