The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released an update to its Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance. Version 4.0 provides guidance on how jurisdictions and critical infrastructure owners can use the list to assist in prioritizing the ability of essential workers to work safely while supporting ongoing infrastructure operations across the nation.    

The updated guidance reflects the changing landscape of the nation’s COVID-19 response. While earlier versions were primarily intended to help officials and organizations identify essential work functions in order to allow them access to their workplaces during times of community restrictions, Version 4.0 identifies those essential workers that require specialized risk management strategies to ensure that they can work safely, says CISA. It can also be used to begin planning and preparing for the allocation of scare resources used to protect essential workers against COVID-19

“As the nation continues to recover and reopen in a phased approach, we continue to rely on essential workers to keep our communities functioning, and we need to make their health and safety a top priority,” said CISA Director Christopher Krebs. “This update is intended to help government officials and organizations make informed decisions regarding essential workers who may require special risk mitigation considerations in the workplace.”

The guidance also identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure. The industries they support represent, but are not limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.

Reflecting the ongoing dialogue and considerations as communities determine whether to re-open schools this fall, the list now includes workers who teach and support our children either in-person or through virtual learning. The guidance does not make judgment on whether schools should re-open, as those decisions are in the purview of state and local officials.

For more information regarding on the latest update to the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance or CISA’s response efforts to COVID-19, please visit