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Essential vs. non-essential businesses; what could be open & closed during a lockdown

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Essential vs. non-essential businesses. (KUTV)

On Wednesday, Summit County, Utah ordered its citizens to stay at home until May 1 as part of statewide and nationwide efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The countywide lockdown will close all non-essential businesses. No statewide lockdown for Utah has been ordered.

While Utah has yet to issue a statewide lockdown order taking a look at Summit County as well as states that are currently on lockdown could help you prepare in case you are ordered to stay in your home.

Terry Wood with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) says Utah liquor stores will remain open during any shelter-in-place order, saying:

Consistent with the county’s order and at the direction of the State of Utah, DABC stores will remain open on a limited basis. They will practice appropriate social distancing measures to protect the health of customers.

Summit County essential services that will stay open:

  • Essential healthcare facilities
  • Banks
  • Hardware stores
  • Plumbers, electricians, auto repair and other essential utilities and services.
  • Farming
  • Post offices
  • Grocery and convenience stores
  • Restaurants whose services are allowed under existing Health Orders
  • Essential transportation services

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency issued federal guidelines to state and local officials identifying "critical infrastructure:"

That list differs from similar lockdown orders in other states.

Take New York, for example, which has a much more robust and detailed list of what businesses are essential during a lockdown (see below).

It's important to note, again, that no statewide lockdown of Utah has been ordered. If Utah were to order a lockdown, the state's list could widely differ from orders from Summit County and New York state.

New York state's essential businesses/services

1. Essential health care operations including:

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health clinics and facilities
  • emergency veterinary, livestock services
  • senior/elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
  • licensed mental health providers
  • licensed substance abuse treatment providers
  • medical billing support personnel

2. Essential infrastructure including:

  • public and private utilities including but not limited to power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • commercial shipping vessels/ports and seaports
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing including:

  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products including personal care products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • food-producing agriculture/farms
  • household paper products
  • defense industry and the transportation infrastructure

4. Essential retail including:

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware, appliance and building material stores
  • pet food

5. Essential services including:

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • automotive repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • maintenance for the infrastructure of the facility or to maintain or safeguard materials or products therein
  • animal shelters/ and animal care

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions including:

  • banks or lending institution
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

9. Construction including:

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

10. Defense:

  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other businesses including

  • law enforcement, including corrections and community supervision
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response, EMS and 911 dispatch
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection
  • residential moving services

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services including but not limited to:

  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government-owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services
  • any personnel necessary for on-line or distance learning or classes delivered via remote means

Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended not to hold congregate services.

If you want a state-by-state breakdown, this story from the Wall Street Journal does the job.