Composite panel industry deals with coronavirus restrictions

1 April 2020


Companies in both the US and Canada have been faced with stay-in-place orders in multiple states and provinces over the past week due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In the US the Department of Homeland Security listed the wood products industry among a number of others as “essential critical infrastructure workforce” that should be exempt from stay-in-place orders. The guidance also includes suppliers to critical industries, which arguably covers a majority of companies within the composite panel supply chain according to the Composite Panel Association (CPA). 

A majority of US states have opted to use the federal guidance, which has helped provide a consistent and clear approach for many in the composite panel industry. In Canada, both Ontario and Quebec were the first provinces to enact stay-in-place orders this week. Ontario included in its list of essential businesses those that supply forestry products, however Quebec opted to provide only a narrow listing for the pulp and paper industry only.  As a result, mills in Quebec are required to begin an orderly shutdown for the duration of the stay-in-place order, which is slated to last three weeks. More provinces are likely to follow, with CPA tracking them closely and advocating for an approach similar to the one taken in Ontario.

The CPA is a member of the National Association of Manufacturing, which has been closely tracking these developments and actively engaging in support of the CISA federal guidance. NAM is continually updating state-by-state information.