COVID-19 Resources

Important information

USDA Invests More Than $330 Million in Specialty Crops Grants, Incentives to Purchase Fruits and Vegetables, Help for Cotton Producers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of more than $330 million to help agricultural producers and organizations in the food supply chain recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted on April 14, 2021.

Certain workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments as part of Phase 2, effective March 22
All staff involved in the production, processing, storage, transport, wholesale and retail sale, preparation, and service of food and consumer goods, including farm and other agricultural workers, including farm stand and nurseries become eligible for vaccines 3/22/2021. Also included are “Food pantry workers or volunteers.” Posted on March 17, 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccination Communication Toolkit for Essential Workers
The CDC has designed a toolkit to help employers build confidence in this important new vaccine. The toolkit will help employers across various industries educate their workforce about COVID-19 vaccines, raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, and address common questions and concerns. —Posted on January 29, 2021 and updated as new information becomes available. 

Nursery Crops and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Are you a nursery crop or cut flower producer whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. —Announced on August 11, 2020 with applications accepted between August 17 and September 11, 2020.

Garden Centers, Greenhouse, Nursery, Agriculture Supply Stores Guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
—April 4, 2020

Retail Garden Center and Florist Strategies to Sell in the Current Environment
—April 2, 2020

Garden Centers, Greenhouses and Nurseries Declared Essential by Governor Baker
—March 31, 2020

COVID-19 and Our Business: Guidance and Call to Action
—March 30, 2020

To all MFGA members and Greenhouse Industry: COVID-19 fact sheets
—March 27, 2020

COVID-19: Essential Services
—March 27, 2020

To all MFGA members, Greenhouse/Garden Center Industry

Important NEW Guidelines for Garden Centers, Greenhouses, Nurseries and Agricultural Supply Stores as of May 6, 2020.

Please read the new guidelines on the use of facial masks below. These guidelines are NOT OPTIONAL.

In our direct conversation with the administration we wanted to clarify the wording at the highlighted section of the sentence which may imply to some, that in our retail industry, people can maintain social distance since much of our sales is outside. As you are aware: WITH ANY RETAIL OPERATION IS IT VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE CUSTOMERS maintain the 6+ foot social distance guidelines all the time.

For that reason, you must require your customers and employees to wear masks. That includes you and any management. As the governor said in the announcement last week, the mask requirement is to protect others—your customers. If you do not set an example by wearing a mask yourself you are effectively telling customers that you are not concerned about their health.

Include the requirement for masks in your signage.

IF YOU DON’T FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES YOU ARE SUBJECT TO BEING CLOSED DOWN by your local Board of Health who is managing these guidelines in your community.

Baker-Polito Administration Orders Use of Mask or Face Covering in Public

The Baker-Polito Administration issued an order requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public places where people cannot socially distance from others starting today, May 6.

Mask and Face Covering Order: The Baker-Polito Administration has ordered all residents over the age of two to use a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible. This statewide order goes into effect today and supersedes previously issued guidance regulations relative to mask use.

This order applies to all workers and customers of businesses and other organizations that are currently open to the public and permitted to operate as COVID-19 Essential Businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and other retail stores(this includes customers and employees in our retail garden centers).

A face covering may include anything that covers your nose and mouth, including a mask, scarf or bandana. Cloth masks should not be worn by young children under the age of two, persons with difficulty breathing, or those who are unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

Download: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Letter from MFGA Board

Last night, another order was issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), building off the Governor’s “essential services” designation providing further clarification on how retail greenhouses, nurseries and garden centers must operate. MFGA’s Executive Board has been working to prepare our members for this possibility and, with the essential services designation, we are expected to meet many of the standards other retail sectors must. Read more…

Soon retail suggestions to help our garden center members be successful within COVID-19 restrictions will be posted here. Be sure to come back and visit.

Massachusetts Flower Growers' Association