As the nation continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, RSI is working with federal, state, and local governments to ensure that there are clear and consistent guidelines in place surrounding the continued operations of the railway supply industry. While the health and safety of employees always comes first, we are committed to ensuring that the railway supply industry continues to do its part in serving freight and passenger railroad customers as they meet the needs of our communities and the nation. Critical supplies and resources must keep moving on our rail systems without disruption. A reliable network of railway supply manufacturing, maintenance and repair facilities, and their employees, are crucial to ensuring that railroads can continue to support America’s COVID-19 response.
Individual State Restrictions on Manufacturing Operations
Multiple states have issued emergency orders to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has compiled a state-by-state list of these orders that is updated regularly and RSI continues to monitor each of them closely for potential impacts on railway supply operations. For businesses that have any concerns about how a specific restriction on business operations applies to their company, we note that many jurisdictions have set up specific procedures for companies to request a waiver and/or guidance from the appropriate state/local authority.
Select State-Level Orders on Vaccine Eligibility for Railway Suppliers
Last updated January 11, 2020
Latest vaccination orders from all states can be found here.
Frontline-line workers are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1b. The Texas Department of State Health Services has limited Phase 1b recipients to people aged 65 years and older and people aged 16 years or older with certain chronic health conditions that put them at elevated risk. As of now, the Texas Department of State Health Services has not identified any specific occupation or group in Phase 1b and estimates that members of the general public may be eligible by Spring of 2021. Please visit this link for more information.
California has divided Phase 1b into two tiers of eligibility. Tier 1 is currently limited to individuals 75 and older and workers at elevated risk of exposure in education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture. Workers in the transportation and logistics and critical manufacturing sectors will be eligible for a vaccine in Tier 2 of Phase 1b. California has already begun distribution for Tier 1 and it is unclear when workers in Tier 2 will become eligible. For more information, please visit this link.
Manufacturing workers are among those eligible in Phase 1b of distribution. Governor J.B. Pritzker has stated that Phase 1b will begin “when Phase 1a is substantially complete” and will include roughly 3.2 million Illinois residents. For the latest information on Illinois’ distribution of the vaccine, please visit this link.
Pennsylvania is closely following the CDC guidance and has included manufacturing workers in Phase 1b. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has published a detailed vaccination plan (link to current version as of January 8) and is updating information on phases at this link.
The state of New York has included manufacturers in Phase 1b but is prioritizing certain groups ahead of them in this phase. Currently, public transit workers, including passenger railroad employees and subway and mass transit employees, are eligible in Phase 1b. New York plans to open up vaccines to “other frontline essential workers” by February of 2021. Please see this link for more information.
Ohio is currently limiting Phase 1b to older individuals, people with specific health disorders, and employees of K-12 schools who are educating in person. Vaccinations are scheduled to begin on January 19 for this phase, which is estimated to cover 2.2 million people. It is unclear how Ohio plans to prioritize vaccines after this group has been vaccinated at this time. For more information, please click this link.