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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Latest news from the CDC on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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  • Q: Will there be food shortages?

    A: There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock. Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S. and there are currently no wide-spread disruptions reported in the supply chain.

    USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are closely monitoring the food supply chain for any shortages in collaboration with industry and our federal and state partners. We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores.

    Q: What is USDA doing to ensure access to food?

    A: USDA is monitoring the situation closely in collaboration with our federal and state partners. FNS is ready to assist in the government-wide effort to ensure all Americans have access to food in times of need. In the event of an emergency or disaster situation, Food and Nutrition Service programs are just one part of a much larger government-wide coordinated response. All of our programs, including SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow us to respond to on-the-ground realities and take action as directed by Congress.

    Learn more about available FNS flexibilities to help ensure food access during the pandemic response, please visit: www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic.

    Q: Is USDA issuing guidance on how farmers markets should operate or if they are considered essential in places where shelter in place orders are in effect?

    A: USDA has not issued any guidance regarding farmers markets. Such decisions are made by localities based on the latest information from the CDC and local and state health agencies.

    Q: Will USDA food purchases continue?

    A: The AMS Commodity Procurement Program (CPP) will remain fully operational and plans to continue to work with Federal, state and local partners to purchase and distribute food to participants in domestic and international nutrition assistance programs. However, many schools and other institutions are closed across the country, and there may be other disruptions at warehouses, ports, and distribution centers. This may result in requests to delay or divert deliveries or provide other flexibilities. We ask that vendors extend as much flexibility as possible and be assured that CPP Contracting Officers will utilize all available contractual flexibilities and contingencies to continue to serve program recipients effectively during this time. To avoid delivery issues and challenges, all contracted vendors should:

    1. Make and confirm delivery appointments prior to shipping; and
    2. Communicate with CPP Contract Specialists or Contracting Officers for any deviation to contractual requirements.
  • Q: Is USDA still able to protect U.S. agriculture from animal and plant pests and diseases?

    A: Yes. Like all Government Agencies, our top priority is the safety and health of our employees and customers. At the same time, we understand our customers rely on our services and that they are important for business continuity. In the days and weeks ahead, our goal is to balance safety with service, and we will make adjustments as needed in order to adapt and continue to accomplish our mission of protecting the health and value of America’s agriculture and natural resources.

    Q: Can customers and the public still access USDA APHIS buildings for service?

    A: As a precaution, most USDA facilities are closed to the public, but we do still have employees working at ports of entry among other locations. In addition, some locations remain open for endorsement activities to help facilitate trade and international pet travel. This is on a case-by-case basis, and we encourage you to check with your local APHIS contacts for more information. They can assist you in identifying alternate ways to conduct business if in-person engagement is not an option.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to carry out existing pest and disease emergency response programs, such as virulent Newcastle disease, cattle fever tick and spotted lanternfly?

    A: APHIS will continue to carry out on-the-ground eradication and management activities where we have active pest and disease programs. This is a core component of our mission and we work in close coordination with states and industry to address pest and disease outbreaks that threaten American agriculture. However, employees will take necessary precautions to minimize face-to-face interactions with producers or the public, while carrying out these activities. We will also have policy staff working remotely to support on-the-ground activities.

    Q: What if a new pest or disease threat is detected?

    A: APHIS’ mission is protecting the health and value of America’s agriculture and natural resources, and it’s vital that we continue to respond to agricultural emergencies in coordination with state and industry partners.

    Q: How is APHIS assisting importers and exporters who need the signature of an Agency official on trade documents such as phytosanitary certificates and health certificates?

    A: APHIS understands the importance of facilitating trade and will continue to provide services to complete required paperwork to support the import and export of live animals and plants and animal products. To support social distancing and protect the health and safety of our employees, whenever possible, APHIS will seek to process these documents electronically. For more information about what services are available in your local area, please see the following resources:

    Animals and Animal Products:
    • For animal product imports, email apie@usda.gov or call 301-851-3300 option 4
    • For live animal imports, email vs.live.animal.import.export@usda.gov or call 301-851-3300 option 2
    • For live animal or animal product exports, please contact your local export service center
    Plants and Plant Products:
    • For import questions, email: plantproducts.permits@usda.gov or call 1-877-770-5990
    • For export questions, locate your export certification specialist here or call 301-851-2309

    Q: Will APHIS continue to conduct inspections of livestock at the border?

    A: APHIS understands the importance of facilitating trade and continues to have staff at the border to inspect livestock. Personnel at these facilities will take care to utilize all recommended social distancing precautions to ensure their health and safety while carrying out these functions.

    Q: Will APHIS have staff working at Plant Inspection Stations?

    A: APHIS understands the importance of facilitating trade at our plant inspection stations. These facilities will remain open to provide inspection services for plants arriving into the United States. Personnel at these facilities will take care to utilize all recommended social distancing precautions to ensure their health and safety. They will also be using additional personal protective equipment such as gloves and sanitizers while still conducting essential inspections. If a pest is identified and treatments are necessary to clear a commodity into American commerce, staff will be able to oversee these operations to ensure clearance in a timely fashion.

    Q: Will APHIS employees continue to work at military airbases and civilian airports to prevent wildlife strikes and safeguard the flying public?

    A: APHIS will continue to have wildlife specialists and biologists at these locations to protect members of our military and the flying public by dispersing birds and other wildlife from runways and flight paths. This work is largely conducted remotely in the field, and employees are safely able to carry out this essential duty with little interaction with the public or customers.

    Q: Is APHIS still conducting Animal Welfare Act inspections?

    A: APHIS is continuing to conduct regular inspections where local area and individual premises conditions allow our inspectors to maintain social distancing norms. APHIS will always place the highest priority on investigating reports of extreme Animal Welfare Act violations that could lead to the confiscation of animals. However, if a State or locality has issued a shelter-in-place order like San Francisco, inspectors will honor that order and not conduct inspections in that area at this time.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to conduct compliance inspections for field trials of genetically engineered organisms?

    A: APHIS will continue to conduct compliance assurance activities. At this time, APHIS is conducting virtual inspections of field trials, and will resume in-person, routine inspections when it is safe to travel. APHIS will continue investigating and is prepared to respond to any incidents involving noncompliance with regulated activities including field trials, and movement/importation of regulated genetically engineered materials. For questions about our compliance and inspection process and requirements; to report a compliance incident; or to submit a required report associated with a permit or notification, send an e-mail to: brscompliance@usda.gov.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to work with the Department of Homeland Security to continue operations at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and ensure the smooth transition of the National Bio- and Agro Defense (NBAF) Facility to USDA?

    A: The Plum Island Animal Disease Center continues to be operational to support testing for high consequence livestock diseases. APHIS, in coordination with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), also continues to work on the transition of this facility from Plum Island, New York to Manhattan, Kansas. We remain on track for USDA to take responsibility for NBAF operations in December 2020 with the formal transfer of ownership occurring in May 2021.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to provide laboratory support and disease confirmatory testing to other laboratories, state animal health officials, federal agencies and producers?

    A: APHIS is continuing to provide these important functions while prioritizing foreign and emerging animal disease testing and testing to protect public health and the agriculture economy.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to respond to active predator threats impacting agriculture, natural resources or human health and safety?

    A: APHIS will continue to conduct predator management activities across the country to protect livestock (including during the spring lambing and calving season), threatened and endangered wildlife, and human health and safety. This work, including aerial operations, is performed in the field with infrequent interaction with customers or the public, and thereby presents minimal risk of exposure to employees. WS will continue to talk with producers, with some accommodations, to reduce any potential risks.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to carry out its National Feral Swine Damage Management program?

    A: APHIS will continue to have specialists in the field to prevent damage caused by feral swine. This work is largely conducted remotely in the field, and employees are safely able to carry out this essential duty with little interaction with the public or customers. It is critical that we continue program activities so that we don’t lose ground in our on-going management and elimination programs.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to review license/permit submissions for veterinary biologics, complete biological products licensing actions, and ensure compliance with the Federal Virus Serum Toxin Act?

    A: APHIS will continue to carry out these important functions to ensure producers have access to safe and efficacious veterinary biologics to keep their herds and flocks healthy. APHIS will also ensure that biologics manufacturing facilities, and the products they produce, continue to meet requirements set forth in the Virus Serum Toxin Act. APHIS continues to evaluate license/permit applications, testing products and product components, while also conducting inspections/investigations as necessary.

    Q: Will APHIS continue to ensure compliance of facilities handling select agents to ensure proper storage and maintenance?

    A: At this time, APHIS’ Agriculture Select Agent Services (AgSAS) will not be conducting routine inspections. We do have the ability to extend registration validity to ensure that all facilities are authorized to possess, use or transfer select agents. Should a compliance issue arise, we have the ability to conduct the necessary follow up, including an inspection.

    Q: Are there restrictions for imported commodities as a result of COVID-19?

    A: There may be import requirements for certain commodities that contain animal-derived materials. APHIS has posted guidance for the import of these commodities here: www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-and-animal-product-import-information/import-live-animals/animal-products/ct_import_animal_products. APHIS will work directly with importers to expedite the process.

  • Q: Are those working in the agricultural sector considered Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers?

    A: Yes. As we all know, agriculture is vital to our country, and will play a vital role during the COVID-19 response. In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency lists Food and Agricultural Workers as being among the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers for the COVID-19 response. It also lists the agricultural sector among 16 critical infrastructure sectors. In addition to providing safe and nutritious food for American families, the agricultural sector also accounts for roughly one-fifth of our nation’s economy. To learn more about the important role the food and agricultural sector plays in the COVID-19 response, please visit www.cisa.gov/food-and-agriculture-sector.

  • Q: Will updated Market News Reports continue to be available?

    A: AMS will continue to report commodity prices through its Market News service. Market News reporters continue to collect and compile data for Market News Reports. Reporters who typically collect this key wholesale, retail and shipping data in-person will continue to do so remotely. We are confident there will be no interruption to the availability of these reports.

  • Q: Can I become sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) from food?

    A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

    Q: Are meat products compromised by the Coronavirus?

    A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

    Q: Is FSIS taking any extra precautions when receiving food products from nations that have confirmed cases of COVID-19?

    A: We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. However, it is always important to follow good hygiene practices (i.e., wash hands and surfaces often, separate raw meat from other foods, cook to the right temperature, and refrigerate foods promptly) when handling or preparing foods.

    Q: Is food imported to the United States from China and other countries affected by COVID-19 at risk of spreading COVID-19?

    A: Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

    Q: Are food products produced in the United States a risk for the spread of COVID-19?

    A: There is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.

    Q: Can I get sick with COVID-19 from touching food, the food packaging, or food contact surfaces, if the coronavirus was present on it?

    A: Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is critical to follow the 4 key steps of food safety — clean, separate, cook, and chill.

    Q: If an inspector or worker in a meat processing plant became infected with coronavirus, would the meat produced at that facility be safe to eat?

    A: Public health and food safety experts do not have any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. FSIS in-plant personnel who are ill with COVID-19 or any other illness will be excluded from work activities that could create unsanitary conditions (coughing or sneezing on product). COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets that can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. More information about how the virus spread is available from the CDC (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html).

    Q: Where should the food industry go for guidance about business operations?

    A: Food facilities, like other work establishments, need to follow protocols set by local and state health departments, which may vary depending on the amount of community spread of COVID-19 in a particular area. We encourage coordination with local health officials for all businesses so that timely and accurate information can guide appropriate responses in each location where their operations reside.

    Q: Is FSIS requesting that plants report to FSIS if employees become ill with COVID-19? Will the Agency reciprocate?

    A: In the event of a diagnosed COVID-19 illness, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will follow, and is encouraging establishments to follow, the recommendations of local public health authorities regarding notification of potential contacts. FSIS will keep the lines of communication open so we can address the evolving situation.

    Q: Have any of FSIS’ audits of foreign countries’ (or foreign countries auditing the U.S.’) food safety systems been delayed due to COVID-19?

    A: As USDA’s public health agency, FSIS is committed to ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all imported meat, poultry, and processed egg products for American families. For the safety of our auditors, FSIS does not provide the dates when the auditors are scheduled to conduct in-country equivalence audits in a foreign country. FSIS has delayed both U.S. and foreign country audits in accordance with the State Department’s guidance. FSIS continues to monitor the situation and will evaluate the feasibility of its upcoming audits as the situation evolves, including reviewing State Department guidance on foreign travel.

    Q: How will FSIS-regulated establishments handle cleanup if cases have been identified at the facility?

    A: Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. All FSIS-regulated establishments are required to have Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOP), which are written procedures that an establishment develops and implements to prevent direct contamination or adulteration of product. It is the establishment’s responsibility to implement the procedures as written in the Sanitation SOPs. The establishment must maintain daily records sufficient to document the implementation and monitoring of the Sanitation SOPs and any corrective action taken. FSIS verifies that regulated establishments adhere to the procedures in place. The same sanitary procedures that establishments are already following to protect food safety will also help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a list of disinfectants that have qualified under EPA's emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

    Q: Is FSIS requesting/requiring their employees to report if they have been to a Level 3 country (Level 1 or 2)?

    A: FSIS employees will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) and State Department’s recommendations for travel.

    Q: Can a county health department or state government shut down an FSIS-regulated establishment?

    A: Yes, and FSIS will follow state and local health department decisions.

    Q: Is FSIS prepared to handle an increased rate of absenteeism of food inspectors due to COVID-19?

    A: Safeguarding and ensuring the U.S. supply chain remains strong is our top priority. Our front-line supervisors and district managers are working closely with state and local health authorities to handle situations as they arise. FSIS is prepared to be operationally nimble and to use all administrative means and flexibilities available to protect the health and safety of employees based on local public health recommendations. Planning for absenteeism is a part of normal FSIS operations. FSIS has a plan and authority to address staffing considerations and is prepared to act accordingly.

    Q: Is FSIS encouraging inspectors to stay home if they exhibit flu-like symptoms?

    A: FSIS always encourages employees who are sick to stay home. Employees exhibiting symptoms are also encouraged to follow recommendations from local, state and Federal public health regarding reporting of illness, consulting with healthcare providers and self-quarantining as necessary.

    Q: Want to see what the FDA is doing?

    A: The FDA also has a list of frequently asked questions such as:

    • Is the U.S. food supply safe?
    • Will there be food shortages?
    • What measures are FDA (and CDC, state partners, etc.) taking to ensure that we remain able to address foodborne illness outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemic?
    See more on FDA's Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

  • Q: Will Forest Service work continue?

    A: Our mission-critical work, such as suppressing wildfires, law enforcement and other public service responsibilities, will continue within appropriate risk management strategies, current guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, and local health and safety guidelines. At this time, the Forest Service continues to remain operational, and we are committed to the continuity of our mission.

    In areas of community spread where telework has been maximized, we are working to exercise our technology capabilities where possible to ensure connection and service to the public. Many activities, approvals, and field work will be accomplished remotely or in a manner that limits exposure.

    Q: Will recreation sites and facilities stay open?

    A: In coordination with state and local health and safety guidelines, National Forests remain open however recreation services at our facilities may be changed, suspended or offered through alternate approaches as we manage for the health and safety of our work force and the public. Agency direction tasks local managers to perform risk assessments of our facilities and limit congregations of people and person to person interactions. Our decisions will align with local city, county and state actions to provide for human health and safety (ie. quarantine, curfew, and other social restrictions).

    Q: Can the public still make reservations through www.recreation.gov?

    A: The Forest Service continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and our reservation policies through Recreation.gov. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages if there are any changes affecting their reservation. In the event of delayed openings of some, part or all of the campgrounds and cabins to ensure safe social distancing, visitors will receive a full refund for their reservation. Please remember to review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and focus on recreating safely while protecting yourself, Forest Service employees and our volunteers.

    Q: Can the public still visit visitor centers and other large gathering facilities?

    A: In coordination with state and local health and safety guidelines, National Forests remain open however recreation services at our facilities may be changed, suspended or offered through alternate approaches as we manage for the health and safety of our work force and the public. Agency direction tasks local managers to perform risk assessments of our facilities and limit congregations of people and person to person interactions. Our decisions will align with local city, county and state actions to provide for human health and safety (ie. quarantine, curfew, and other social restrictions).

    Q: What can the public do to practice social distancing while recreating on National Forest System lands?

    A: Visitors to our National Forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html.

    Q: What will happen to current special-use permits?

    A: Special Use Permits will remain valid and in effect. Monitoring work associated with permit administration may experience delays. Valid permits issued for uses that focus on customer service, such as ski resorts, organizational camps, club activities, etc. will remain in effect and operations will be under the discretion of the organization or individual holding the permit.

    Q: Will land exchange projects continue?

    A: Land exchange projects will continue and may experience delays associated as the agency transitions to virtual delivery of mission work.

    Q: Will active mining projects continue to operate?

    A: Plans of operations for active mining projects will continue. Administration of monitoring activities or processing minerals or mining requests may experience delays as employees try to do business in new ways.

    Q: Will timber and vegetation management projects continue?

    A: As appropriate within current department direction, field work will continue to focus on managing vegetation, restoring ecosystems, reducing hazards and maintaining forest health. Meetings will be limited to minimum levels necessary to complete tasks. Work will continue either in office or remote.

    Q: What about non-essential operations related to research and data collection?

    A: For non-essential operations and functions, field work (i.e. timber surveys, permit inspections, prescribed fire, scientific surveys and forest health monitoring) related to critical research and forest health may be impacted temporarily or permanently with loss in annual data collection. The severity of impact, the loss of data collection will depend upon the critical nature of the program and connections with customers.

    Q: Will administration of grazing permits continue?

    A: Administration of current grazing (yearlong and winter grazing allotments for example) will continue. Allotment inspections may be delayed but will continue. Planning and other annual rotation adjustment meetings can continue to occur remotely or in accordance with CDC/OPM guidance.

    Q: How will the Forest Service respond to wildfires?

    A: Our essential mission functions, such as suppressing wildfires and other public health and safety responsibilities, will continue within appropriate risk management strategies, current guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, and local health and safety guidelines. We are currently evaluating and updating our approach and strategies to prepared and respond to wildfires in light of the new risks presented by the Coronavirus.

    Q: What will happen if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs among firefighters?

    A: The USDA Forest Service and Department of the Interior are updating plans and responses for various disease outbreak scenarios in the United States, including the “Pandemic Response and Preparedness Plan for the Federal Wildland Fire Agencies,” and the “Infectious Diseases Guidelines for Wildland Fire Incident Management Teams”. These plans institute appropriate mitigation activities during wildland fire response actions to ensure national wildland fire response capability.

    Q: Have all USDA Forest Service regions paused their prescribed burning programs in response to COVID-19 risks?

    A: The USDA Forest Service is taking a risk-informed approach to managing prescribed fire by evaluating the following factors: (1) the ability to maintain fire responder viability and sustainability; (2) potential smoke impacts to communities from prescribed fire and how that interacts with COVID-19 effects; and (3) the ability to use local resources so inter-state travel is not necessary. Currently most Regions have paused their operations after evaluating these factors. They will continue to adapt as the situation evolves.

    As always, we will work in coordination with local and state health organizations and make any necessary changes should the need arise.

  • Q: Will quality grading and inspection services continue?

    A: AMS continues to provide critical inspections and grading services. AMS is ensuring the health and safety of USDA employees while still providing the timely delivery of the services to maintain the movement of America’s food supply from farms to forks. If needed, AMS is prepared to remedy any possible disruptions in services.

    Q: Should I be concerned about allowing a grader into my facility?

    A: All USDA employees have received guidance on protocols, preventative measures and mitigation guidelines regarding COVID-19. USDA guidance is consistent with CDC guidance. AMS is ensuring the health and safety of USDA employees while still providing the timely delivery of the services to maintain the movement of America’s food supply from farms to forks. As always, AMS in-plant personnel, including quality graders and inspectors are instructed to stay home if they are ill. In addition, employees who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19, whether at the workplace, their home or other, have also been instructed to stay home.

    Q: Will auditing services continue?

    A: AMS continues to provide auditing and accreditation services. If needed, AMS is prepared to remedy any possible disruptions in services.

  • Q: Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick from coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    A: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

    Q: Should I be concerned about pets or other animals and coronavirus (COVID-19)?

    A: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask.

  • Q: Does Coronavirus delay implementation of the China Phase One Deal?

    A: The U.S. Trade Representative, which is responsible for implementing the Phase One trade agreement, has had no conversations like this with our Chinese counterparts. We expect that the Chinese will meet their commitments under the agreement.

  • Q: I am concerned about Farm Service Agency farm loans. How will direct and guaranteed loans be impacted by COVID-19? What about the loan-making process?

    A: Producers can continue to apply for farm loans and get their current loans serviced. Farm loans are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs, and cash flow in challenging times like now.

    USDA’s Farm Service Agency is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need. More information is available on farmers.gov/coronavirus.

  • Q: Can I conduct my USDA business without having to physically come to a service center?

    A: USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible. Field work, including conservation planning assistance, will continue with appropriate social distancing.

    Online services are available to producers with a Level 2 eAuthentication account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal and Conservation Client Gateway. Available services include:

    • View loan information, history, and payments for USDA farm loans.
    • Track NRCS payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance, and electronically sign certain NRCS documents.

    Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll by selecting the “Sign In | Sign Up” on farmers.gov. This page provides step-by-step instructions for creating an account.

    Q: What do I do if I have questions on USDA programs/loans, or need to make a repayment?

    A: Updated information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Risk Management Agency programs and services can be found on farmers.gov/coronavirus.

    USDA Service Centers are currently open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible.

    Loan payments can be mailed to the FSA office at your local USDA Service Center.

    Q: How will I know if my service center is closed, or not open to the public?

    A: All USDA Service Centers are currently open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible. Field work, including conservation planning assistance, will continue with appropriate social distancing. Producers can find their Service Center’s phone number at farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

    Q: How will this impact my local office and the services I need to receive?

    A: USDA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing, conservation planning assistance, and other important actions. You can learn more about steps USDA is taking in response to COVID-19 to continue supporting farmers and ranchers at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

    Producers can continue to apply for farm loan, disaster assistance, safety net, and conservation programs as well as crop insurance. Additionally, USDA is adding flexibilities for farm loans and crop insurance. More information is available on farmers.gov/coronavirus.


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Notice to Stakeholders: USDA Extends Comment Period on Proposed School and Summer Meal Reforms

Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Declaration of National Emergency Regarding COVID-19

Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Address to the Nation Regarding COVID-19

Secretary Perdue: “If Schools are Closed, We are Going to do our Very Best to Make Sure Kids are Fed”

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 www.coronavirus.gov

 Frequently Asked Questions from the CDC

 CDC Situation Summary

 FEMA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response

 State Department Travel Information

 Homeland Security Resources

 World Health Organization

 EPA Disinfectant List


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