Home & Living

What Are Essential Services And Jobs During The Coronavirus Crisis?

Here's a list of the jobs and businesses that typically remain open during shutdowns.

As cities across the U.S. tighten quarantine and other restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one word keeps popping up concerning the services, jobs and activities permitted to continue: “essential.”

“I will sign an Executive Order mandating that 100% of [the] workforce must stay home, excluding essential services,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tweeted Friday. Early in the week, San Francisco officials announced that even non-vulnerable people were “required to stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.” On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued a statewide stay-at-home order, asking residents to leave their homes only when necessary.

But what is considered an essential job or service? Here at HuffPost, we’ve been asked about laundromats (yes) and hardware stores (yes). Although the list will likely vary according to local concerns and the nature of a given event, disaster or pandemic, here is a general idea of what may be considered “essential,” according to various governments including San Francisco, Miami, New York state and Miami-Dade County:

  • Gas stations, auto supply stores, auto repair shops and related facilities
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks and convenience stores
  • Liquor stores
  • Restaurants (only for delivery, takeout and drive-thru)
  • Hardware stores and plumbers
  • Contractors and other tradesmen, appliance repair personnel
  • Exterminators and other service providers
  • Landscape and pool care businesses, including residential landscape and pool care
  • Construction sites and engineering and architecture firms
  • Banks and related financial institutions including insurance and accounting services
  • Phone and computer sellers
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
  • Healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations including research and laboratory services, medical wholesale and distribution, and dentists
  • Businesses that provide shelter and/or social services
  • Newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets
  • Businesses offering mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes
  • Airlines, taxis and other private transportation providers
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult day care centers and senior facilities
  • Pet supply stores
  • Veterinary offices
  • Police stations
  • Fire stations
  • Building code enforcement
  • Jails
  • Courts
  • Garbage/sanitation and recycling services
  • Public transportation (Muni, BART, subways)
  • Utilities (water, power and gas, telecommunications)
  • Certain city, county, state and federal offices
  • Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • Maintenance staff, cleaners, janitors and doormen
  • Manufacturing including food processing, chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, paper products, safety and sanitary products

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