With each passing day, the State of Connecticut is doing more and more to promote social distancing and take the proper precautions in the battle against the spread of the novel coronavirus, the latest being the "Stay Safe, Stay Home" initiative.

On Friday evening, March 20, Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order directing "all non-essential businesses and not-for-profit entities in Connecticut to prohibit all in-person functions if they are able to, effective Monday, March 23, 2020 at 8:00 p.m." In other words, businesses that don't fall into the essential categories listed below are asked to close their buildings and encourage employees to work from within their homes.

Governor Lamont went on to say that he is working closely with the state's Department of Economic and Community Development to come up with some guidance for all businesses that will be closing in relation to the order. Those next steps will be reportedly released over the weekend.

“At this critical time it is essential that everyone just stay home so we can contain the spread of this virus while keeping essential services running,” Governor Lamont said. “I know that this will be disruptive to many and will bring many daily activities to a halt, but the only way we will be able to mitigate the impacts of this public health emergency is to take measures like this. I appreciate everyone’s cooperation, and I especially want to thank the essential workers who are needed to keep critical services running.”

The “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative recommends that state residents do the following:

  1. Effective at 8PM on Monday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
  2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
  3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups -groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
  4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
  5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
  6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
  7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
  8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
  9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
  10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

It's important to note that the order doesn't apply to essential services like supermarkets, pharmacies, medical facilities and gas stations.

Here is a breakdown of what businesses are considered to be essential.

1. Essential health care operations including

  • research and laboratory services
    hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • veterinary and animal health services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides
  • doctor and dentist offices
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment providers

2. Essential infrastructure including

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages

3. Essential manufacturing including

  • food processing, including all foods and beverages
    chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • safety and sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • paper products

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 and building material stores

5. Essential services including

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats/dry cleaning
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters or animal care or management

6. News media

7. Financial Institutions including

  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting

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 essential businesses including

  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection
  • doormen

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including

  • logistics
  • technology support
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services
  • If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is
  • essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may
  • request designation as an essential business.
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