Update on ISSA’s Response to COVID-19

A letter thanking the cleaning industry from ISSA President John Barrett

March 19, 2020

To the ISSA Community,

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together as an industry, it is my duty to keep you informed about how your association, ISSA, is working to serve you and leveraging our collective voice for the cleaning industry in these challenging times. 

Yesterday, I had the distinct honor to represent ISSA on a White House Communications Call with President Donald Trump, who called upon executives from industrial supply retailers and wholesalers regarding the national response to COVID-19. The President thanked us for providing the goods Americans rely on every day and expressed his gratitude to the incredible employees who are working tirelessly to that end. 

We discussed how the administration’s lifting of federal restrictions on the trucking industry allows maximum efficiency throughout the distribution network. Further, we discussed how continued cooperation and coordination between the private sector and all levels of government is essential to mitigate the effects of this pandemic. 

I was encouraged by the call and I am so pleased that people in our industry are viewed as essential first responders in this time of need. I commend you for your efforts to flatten the curve in your respective businesses and encourage you to continue to meet the needs of those you serve however you can.

In addition, ISSA has taken the lead on providing information, tools, and resources to help our industry respond to the pandemic and underscore how cleaning can reduce its risk to human health. I encourage you to visit our free online resource, Coronavirus:  Prevention and Control for the Cleaning Industry, which includes guidance, news, webinars, and practical tip sheets on PPE, risk assessment, and disinfection from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA.

We are also working to bring you topical training and education via virtual channels, especially as we have had to make the difficult decision to reschedule, postpone, and cancel live events over the next eight weeks. Please stay tuned for additional details, although in the meantime, you can find an updated listing of ISSA events at

On behalf of the ISSA Board of Directors and staff, I thank you for your leadership, support, and partnership. One of my favorite sayings is that difficult times don’t build character—they reveal it—and the ISSA family has certainly shown the depth of yours.

Please know that we are here to help, and I encourage you to contact us for support at any time. Together, we truly are Changing the Way the World Views Cleaning when it matters most. 

John Barrett
Executive Director, ISSA


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