Latest COVID Updates from MAA

3.25.2020 3:15 PM  Email to Membership:

The following is an update from the Green Industry Alliance’s Legislative Agent, Stephen Boksanski, with confirmation that Landscape Services are deemed essential during the state’s Emergency Order.

TCIA has issued a statement, along with ISA. about what constitutes an essential service and the board of directors encourages our membership to adhere to these guidelines.

https://www.tcia.org/TCIAPdfs/TCIA-ISA-Joint-Statement-of-Essential-Services.pdf

The statement from TCIA aligns with the MAA’s code of ethics to operate our businesses with safety as our foremost concern.

Although the Administration has deemed Landscape Services essential, we encourage members to proceed with caution and ask yourself the following:

1. Do we have a coronavirus company policy?
2. Have the employees been trained regarding this policy?
3. Are the employees comfortable returning to work under the circumstances? 
4. Do our customers want us on their properties?
5. Do the cities and towns we service consider landscaping essential? (Some do not)
6. Do the benefits of starting the season now outweigh the risks? 

We will continue to work in partnership with TCIA, state associations and government entities to keep members up-to-date on the latest regulations and safety guidelines to uphold their social responsibility and protect employees, clients, as well as the public.

Stay safe. Be well.

MAA Board of Directors
__________________________________________

March 25, 2020

Thank you for your patience as we try to obtain clarity from the Administration on Landscape Services.  Please see the response below [from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development] that clearly states Landscape Services are deemed essential and can continue work while practicing CDC and MA DPH social distancing guidelines.

As we have tried to stress, this is not a time to “spike the football” but rather a time to proceed with respect and a commitment to doing the right thing.  The FAQ should be updated soon if it isn’t already and [GIA] member associations should please distribute per the request below from the Administration.

Stephen Boksanski
GIA Legislative Agent

Subject: RE: Landscape Services

Stephen, 

Thank you for your note. Please see the below updated guidance regarding landscaping that we will be adding to the COVID-19 Essential Service FAQ sheet.

In short, landscaping companies can continue operating as an essential service but should adhere to social distancing protocols for workers and customers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.

Please distribute the update guidance to the organizations you listed below. The administration will also be circulating/updating our FAQs to the business community on a regular basis.

Best,

Mark   

Mark Fuller
Undersecretary of Business Growth
Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

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Q: Can landscapers and other businesses that don’t operate out of a bricks-and-mortar location continue to operate? YES with social distancing

A: If the service a business provides is not on the essential services list, that business must cease all in-person activities at its bricks-and-mortar facilities. These non-essential businesses are encouraged to work remotely.  Businesses that do work remotely, whether as part of their normal activities or as a result of this order, must maintain social distancing requirements: six feet of separation between all employees, and between employees and members of the public.


3.25.2020:  
MAA is awaiting official confirmation from the Governor’s office about whether or not certain tree & landscape services will be deemed essential during the Emergency Order.  Once we have confirmation, we will issue a statement to the membership.


3.24.2020: 
MAA, along with allied associations and our GIA legislative agent, made a formal request to the Governor's office requesting some landscape services be considered essential during the emergency order.  Click here to read the letter from GIA to Gov. Baker.


3.23.2020: 
Email to Membership


In these uncertain times, the MAA has been working closely with legislative and allied organizations to gain clarity around the Governor’s Emergency Order. Ultimately, it is every member’s decision as to how they choose to operate their business under the stay-at-home advisory. At the national level, the TCIA has issued a statement, along with ISA, about what constitutes an essential service and the board of directors encourages our membership to adhere to these guidelines.


https://www.tcia.org/TCIAPdfs/TCIA-ISA-Joint-Statement-of-Essential-Services.pdf

The statement from TCIA aligns with the MAA’s code of ethics to operate our businesses with safety as our foremost concern.

Stay safe. Be well.

MAA Board of Directors


The MAA is a member of the Green Industry Alliance (GIA). The following information is provided by the GIA’s Legislative Agent, Steve Boksanski, as pertains to today’s Emergency Order from Governor Baker:

“We have read and analyzed the latest information directly from the language of the Order itself and from the federal (DHS) guidelines.  Below please find our interpretation:

o   As Bob Mann noted, on March 19, the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued guidance to assist states that identifies 14 critical infrastructure sectors whose workers provide services and functions that are essential to support a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is the underlying document in terms of determining whether or not a service is essential.  https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19

o   Governor Baker’s Emergency order requires all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24 at noon until Tuesday, April 7 at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. Businesses that are designated as essential are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health.

o   Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.

o   Based on these parameters, most GIA businesses either meet the federal list or can continue to operate if doing so ‘through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order’.”

Steve Boksanski and his team are awaiting additional input from MDAR and the MAA will provide information as it becomes available.