Government Connection

Industry May Question USDA Employees About Their COVID-19 Status

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a memo granting food supply chain facilities permission to orally ask any USDA employees seeking entry to that facility questions concerning COVID-19 - prior to allowing entrance into the facility. To read the full memo, click here.

USDA permits industry to orally ask the following:

  • If the USDA employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including shortness of breath,body aches, coughing, and fever of over 100.4.
  • If someone living in the USDA employee’s household or someone the USDA employee is caringfor has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or had any recent contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • In the last 14 days, if the USDA employee, someone living in the USDA employee’s household,or someone with whom the USDA employee has been in close or frequent contact with, orsomeone the USDA employee is caring for, returned from, or made a travel connection through aCDC Level 3 or Level 2 country or State Department Level 3 or Level 4 country, for example,China, Korea, Japan, the European Union, Iran.
  • Industry may also measure a USDA employee’s temperature via a digital forehead thermometerbefore permitting entry into the facility.

USDA employees will only respond to questions orally and will not sign any attestations or submit any written questionnaires.

The industry has the authority to determine whether to permit or deny entry into its facility should a USDA employee answer in the affirmative to any of the above questions. The industry may retain a record of USDA employees that are both permitted or denied entrance. However, the industry may not retain any confidential or medical information associated with any USDA employee’s response.

We thank you for your continued commitment to protecting the health and safety of all our employees during this difficult time.


March 23, 2020



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