Essential businesses: What will remain open through the stay-at-home order in NC

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After Governor Roy Cooper issued a stay-at-home order for North Carolina on Friday, many workers are wondering which jobs qualify as essential and which qualify as non-essential.

Businesses have to be able to meet social distancing requirements, meaning they can accommodate keeping employees at least six feet away from each other and customers, except at point of sale or purchase, according to the order.

They must also serve an essential function in some way.

Here are some of the businesses and organizations that are deemed essential:

  • Healthcare and public health operations: This includes hospitals, clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, laboratories and veterinarian offices. 
  • Human services operations: Child care facilities, nursing homes and shelters.
  • Essential infrastructure operations: Food and beverage producers, distributors, fulfillment centers and storage centers. 
  • Essential government operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food and beverage production and agriculture
  • Charitable organizations and social services
  • Religious centers
  • Media
  • Transportation businesses: Gas stations, auto sales, supply and service centers and roadside assistance services. Airlines, Lyft and Uber, train services. 
  • Financial and insurance institutions: Banks, lenders, insurance providers
  • Home improvement, hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades: Construction, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial services
  • Mail services
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants (for consumption off-premises)
  • Businesses that provide supplies to work from home
  • Home-based care and services
  • Professional services: Legal services, accounting, insurance, engineering and architectural, land surveying, real estate and tax preparation.
  • Manufacturers, distributors and supply chain for critical industries
  • Defense and military contractors 
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Beer, wine and liquor stores
  • Book stores that sell educational materials
  • Pet and feed stores

Enforcement begins at 5 p.m. on Monday.

“This will save lives,” Cooper said.

Similar orders have already been issued locally by Guilford County and Forsyth County, as well as around the state such as in Mecklenburg County and the City of Durham.

“North Carolina is now considered by the CDC to have widespread transmission,” Cooper said.

“It’s a matter of life and death,” the governor continued. “We fight this disease now so we’re better able to defeat it in the future.”

You can read the full order below:

Gov. Cooper’s stay at home order by Stephanie Erickson Doyle on Scribd

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North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline: 1-866-462-3821


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