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Summary of CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce 3.0

April 27, 2020

On April 17, 2020, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.0 of its guidance to help state and local jurisdictions, decision makers in communities and jurisdictions and the private sector across the country to manage and identify their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19. Original guidance was released on March 19, 2020 and version 2.0 was subsequently released on March 28, 2020. The reason for publishing Version 3.0 of the CISA guidance was to assist local decision makers in balancing public health and safety with the need to maintain critical infrastructure in their communities.

Version 3.0 of the guidance clarified and expanded critical infrastructure workers in several categories and provided additional information for both government and businesses related to the sectors or industries covered as well as certain sub-sectors or sub-categories listed under such sectors or industries.  Among the sectors and/or industries for which Version 3.0 of CISA guidelines addresses are:

  1. Healthcare/Public Health;
  2. Law Enforcement, Public Safety, and other First Responders;
  3. Food and Agriculture;
  4. Energy (Electricity Industry; Petroleum Industry; Natural Gas, Propane, and Other Liquid Fuels;
  5. Water and Wastewater;
  6. Transportation and Logistics;
  7. Public Works and Infrastructure Support Services;
  8. Communications and Information Technology; and,
  9. Other Community-or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions (catch-all local government/municipal functions)

In addition, key definitions were amended or changed; for example, in all worker categories, references to “employees” or “contractors” were changed to “workers.” Other additions provided by this guidance included:

  • Updated language focused on sustained access and freedom of movement;
  • Reference to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on safety for critical infrastructure workers;
  • Language noting the essential role of workers focused on information technology and operational technology;
  • Clearer guidance that sick workers should avoid the job site;
  • A reference to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Marine Safety Information Bulletin on essential maritime workers;  and
  • The addition of language clarifying considerations related to roles such as:  vehicle manufactures; judges and lawyers supporting the judicial system; agricultural jobs; and, transportation-specific education.

For more information regarding all of CISA’s COVID-19 response efforts and products, you can visit, and specific inquiries or requests for specific guidance can be made to CISA.CAT@CISA.DHS.GOV.

This blog post was drafted by Sarah Sicotte, an attorney in the Denver, CO office of Spencer Fane LLP. For more information please visit