To Continue To Protect Your Family From The Coronavirus

On March 30, 2020

To Continue To Protect Your Family From The Coronavirus
The social isolation in response to the Coronavirus outbreak has created disruptions and impact on everyone’s life. Pennsylvania’s Governor Wolf has ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. For the most part agriculture production and food distribution are essential services and remain open. It is important that we continue to follow the guidelines until sufficient progress is made in combating the virus. Since we don’t yet have an approved treatment, social isolation practices to prevent the spread of the virus are critical to gaining ground in the efforts control the virus. The goal is to slow the spread of the disease so that we don’t have a rapid spike in infections which could overwhelm our hospitals ability to care for the seriously ill patients.
The guidelines from the White House Coronavirus Task Force are still in effect and are designed to help protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak.
First listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities. If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work or out in public. Contact your medical provider. If your children are sick, keep them at home and contact your medical provider. If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people. If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people.
These guidelines build on the Center For Disease Control’s (CDC) general recommendations to help prevent spread of the virus. Americans should continue practicing strict personal hygiene, including washing hands regularly for at least 20 seconds at a time and wiping down surfaces in the home often.
Even if you are young and otherwise healthy, you are at risk—and your activities can increase the risk of contracting the Coronavirus for others. Everyone can do their part.
There’s no better way to protect your family and your community than by arming yourself with  accurate, up-to-date information available at the CDC website:
To Understand The Changes To The Pesticide Licensing Programs due to COVID-19 Pandemic
As I wrote last week the Coronavirus outbreak has caused many changes in the delivery of Pesticide Education Credits. All in person meetings are cancelled and all current training is available only on the internet.
All pesticide applicator exam sessions have been cancelled, at least through the month of March 2020.  The PaPlants website,, will be updated with the latest exam schedule when exams resume.  As of March 16, all Third-Party testing sites have been closed.
For those who have taken exams recently:  notification of exam results will be delayed. Those who have taken a pesticide exam and have not heard back from PDA will receive notification once PDA offices are re-opened and exams can be processed. Those who are already signed up to take a pesticide exam at exam sessions that were cancelled will be contacted by the department to reschedule.
The cancelling of Pesticide Education meetings has caused concerns for those whose license expires on March 31.  In response the Pennsylvania Department Of Agriculture has made several changes. Private applicators with March 31, 2020 expiration dates will be extended to June 1, 2020.   For those who are currently licensed and need to renew their license, The PDA will be extending the private applicator renewal date to June 1, 2020.
Additionally, this extension will allow private pesticide applicators to purchase and make pesticide applications legally until June 1, 2020.  The PDA will not be mailing out new certification cards to reflect this extension, but we will be notifying pesticide dealers so you will be able to purchase your pesticides during this time period. 
For those whose private applicator certification expiration date reads March 31, 2019, or March 31, 2020, you will have until June 1, 2020 to obtain the required recertification credits and make payment for the applicators license.  Even with this extension, we urge private pesticide applicators to utilize pesticide online resources to obtain your recertification credits and pay for your license.  This can be done through the PaPlants website,
Completed renewals may be viewed in PaPlants,, but mailing of certification cards will be delayed.
If you have any questions about this information, please contact 717-772-5231 or
To Make Up Needed Pesticide Credits On Line
Penn State Extension is offering some on-line pesticide credit options for those who have internet connections. A recording is available of two trainings that were live on March 26 for 2 Core and  2 Category Credits and is offered on-line. There is a $10 charge for each training. The recorded sessions will be available for 30 days after the live sessions. After the training you will take a simple 10 question quiz. A 70% correct score will earn you the credits for that session. You can register for the recorded events here: .
Quote Of The Week: Here are comments to farmers and others in the food supply system from Sonny Perdue, United States Secretary Of Agriculture “I just really want to speak from my heart to all you folks out there that are working at the front lines of our food supply chain.
You know, we’re spoiled in America. You’ve provided such abundant, healthy, wholesome, affordable, available food that we take you for granted. And for all you people from the people who are stocking those shelves, from the people who are driving the trucks to get this food to us, the people who are processing the food and the people who grow the food and all the vendors that supplied our farmers to help them grow this food whether it’s fertilizer or feed or seed or any other input.
Thank you so much for what you’re doing. And I know these are uncertain times, but I just want to tell you from my heart, as an American citizen, I am so grateful for what you’re doing. And I want to thank you for doing that. We’ve got our Food Safety Inspection workers on the front line, day in and day out to make sure our food is safe, just like we always have. But you’re the real heroes in this effort.
In World War II we actually had agricultural deferments because the food supply chain was so important. And that’s essentially what you all are doing. From the person that makes the equipment, that supplies the farmers, to the seed, the fertilizer, the farmers that go day in and day out to produce this food and all through the processing, and the packaging, and the logistics, and the stocking of the shelves, to greeting and checking out people – you are vital to our economy and you are vital to our needs of America having a strong food supply.
You’ve probably heard me say before, our motto at USDA is, ‘Do Right and Feed Everyone.’ We can’t do that alone at USDA, but you are doing it. And I want to just thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing day in and day out. Stay at the job. You know that America depends on you if we are going to have the food we need to feed our families, you are the ones that can make that happen. Thank you. God Bless you. Stay safe. And God bless America.”