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Governor issues executive order: only life-sustaining businesses may remain open

By Jennifer Burnett
All businesses that are not life-sustaining must stop operations effective Thursday, Mar. 26 at 8 p.m. except as needed to conduct minimum basic operations.

This includes all in-person government activities at the state, county and local level that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.

The order states that necessary government activities include activities performed by critical infrastructure workers, including workers in law enforcement, public safety and first responders. Such activities also include, but are not limited to:

  • Public transit
  • Trash pick-up and disposal
  • Activities necessary to manage and oversee elections
  • Maintenance of safe and sanitary public parks so as to allow for outdoor recreation
  • Operations necessary to enable transactions that support the work of a business or operation’s critical infrastructure workers. 
    • What is critical infrastructure? The Department for Homeland Security has developed guidance on identifying essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can view it HERE. 

The order also notes that:

  • Any in-person government services that continue must operate consistent with social distancing
  • Any statutory deadlines that conflict with the suspension of in-person government activities are suspended while the order is in place
  • The prohibition does not apply to virtual or telework operations

Businesses considered to be life-sustaining and are thus not required to close include all or part of the following sectors: federal critical infrastructure; life-sustaining retail; food, beverage and agriculture; organizations that provide charitable and social services; newspapers, television, radio and other media services; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial Services; housing, buildings and construction; mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services; laundry services; restaurants for consumption off-premises; supplies for life-sustaining businesses; transportation; home-based care and services; professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services and real estate services; manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries; critical labor union functions; hotels and motels; and funeral services.

View the full order HERE.