A breakdown of businesses deemed essential in stay-at-home order


On the heels of Gov. John Bel Edwards’ stay-at-home order Sunday, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber released a list of what businesses need to know to comply. 

The order will take effect tonight at 5 p.m., closing most businesses in the state and limiting general activity to essential trips to grocery stores and medical appointments and outdoor activities like walking dogs. 

Restaurants will also remain open for delivery and takeout/drive-thru options. The order is currently set to lift April 13, but could be extended. 

The order’s general limits include closing all parks and playgrounds and entertainment venues; all hair and nail salons, barbers, spas and similar businesses; and malls with only indoor store entrances.  

The federal Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency has a list of what qualifies as essential businesses here

That list includes: 

• Health care workers and caregivers, including mental health and social services, and pharmacies;
• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverages;
• Restaurant carryout operations and food delivery employees;
• Farmers;
• Electricity and utility industry;
• Critical manufacturing (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals); Petroleum, natural and propane gas;
• Transportation and logistics;
• Communications and information technology;
• Financial services and banking.

While allowed to remain open, those businesses must reduce operations to just essential employees, have minimum contact with the public, and require proper social distancing and fewer than 10-person gatherings. 

Child care centers that follow those guidelines are also allowed to operate.

The governor’s office has also confirmed the following industries may continue operations:

• Residential, commercial, industrial and transportation construction;
• Auto maintenance facilities;
• Auto dealers, subject to guidelines for gathering quantities and safety;
• Hotels;
• Office security;
• Realtors and brokers;
• Any non-food or pharmacy retailers that support industries and workers defined as essential. Read BRAC’s full announcement here.

ABC Pelican also issued more focused information for the construction industry this morning.  The state is allowing essential construction in a few areas: construction required in response to this public health emergency, construction engineering, and building management and maintenance. 

Building trades like plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, operating engineers, HVAC, painters, and moving and relocation services are also allowed to continue. 

Read more stories on how the coronavirus is impacting the Baton Rouge business community. 

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