DHS Releases Critical Infrastructure Guidance on COVID-19
Friday, March 20, 2020 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) provided emergency communications restoration support to critical communications infrastructure facilities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency bearer services are functionalities provided by the serving network when the network is configured to support emergency services. These critical communications facilities are necessary to ensure first responder, emergency responders and 9-1-1 communications capabilities are functional during this response and recovery period. In the course of providing this support, the bearer must obtain fuel to execute restoration activities and for the operation of generators and response fleet vehicles to prevent communications outages until commercial power is restored.

CISA’s National Communications Coordination Branch (NCC) requested any courtesy that can be extended to provide fuel to the bearer during this response through May 28. CISA NCC is working with the bearer to coordinate the rapid restoration of critical communications networks to help return to normal as quickly as possible. The bearer is responsible for payment for goods and services received.

A 24-hour point of contact is available at 703-235-5080 or ncc@hq.dhs.gov to address any questions.

In addition, the president issued updated coronavirus guidance for the United States, which states: “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

CISA developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, subsectors, segments or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance.

The guidance is available here.

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