DHS defines critical jobs during outbreak

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) cybersecurity agency on Thursday issued guidelines defining critical workers who the Trump administration is encouraging to maintain a “normal working schedule” during the coronavirus pandemic.

The workers defined as critical by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) span a wide variety of fields, including those in the health care sector and those working in grocery stores and delivering food.

The CISA guidelines were developed in response to President Trump’s “Coronavirus Guidance for America” published earlier this week. In the earlier guidance, Trump told those working in a “critical infrastructure industry” as defined by DHS that they had “a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

CISA Director Christopher Krebs emphasized in the introduction to the new guidelines that they were not “a federal directive,” and were “advisory in nature.”

“As State and local communities consider COVID-19-related restrictions, CISA is offering this list to assist prioritizing activities related to continuity of operations and incident response, including the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions,” Krebs wrote.