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Lamont Defines ‘Essential’ Businesses that Can Remain in Operation after Monday

Gov. Ned Lamont. Photo credit: Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror.org

Connecticut’s ban on non-essential services takes effect Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m., and Sunday night the administration clarified the types of businesses permitted to remain open.

By Keith M. Phaneuf, CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont clarified his work ban on non-essential services late Sunday, carving out dozens of exemptions centered on key areas like child and health care, food, law enforcement, utilities and transportation, finances and insurance.

Also included on that list of essentials that can keep operating are guns and ammunition retailers and package stores.

The administration posted dozens of examples of businesses that can remain open Monday at 8 p.m. when the ban on non-essentials takes effect.

“I know this pandemic has brought disruption to all of our lives, but we need to pull together as a community and practice social distancing in order to reduce the spread of this virus and protect the well-being of our neighbors and our loved ones,” Lamont said. “We can’t ignore the facts, which prove that efforts like this are the best way to slow down its impact. I cannot say it enough – if you can, the best thing to do is to stay safe and stay home.”

The governor identified 11 broad job categories, some with more than a dozen examples of exemptions to the work ban:

Health care: This includes not just hospitals, doctors’ offices and pharmacies, but also physical therapists, home healthcare services, medical marijuana dispensaries, research lab,s and drug and other medical manufacturers.

Infrastructure: Involving airline bus and other transportation services, telecommunications, utilities, power generation, trucking and hotels.

Manufacturing: This includes all related suppliers.

Retail: Includes gasoline stations, convenience stores, grocery stores – including “big box” department retailers that sell groceries – hardware and appliance shops.

Food and Agriculture: Including restaurants – that can provide take-out and delivery service only, nurseries, farms and farmers’ markets.

General Services: This broad categories covers everything from legal and banks and financial support services to insurance companies and real estate agencies. Child-care services, auto and marine vessel maintenance, news media, trash collection, and recycling also are exempt.

Services for the poor: Includes food banks, homeless shelters, and human service providers.

Construction: This includes not only companies, but all skilled trades workers, electricians, and plumbers.

Sanitation and Public Safety: This includes not only janitors, but also building inspectors, landscaping and pest control services. It includes law enforcement personnel as well as private security and maintenance staff.

Other essential services: This covers child care services, information technology support, government services, and billboard leasing.

Defense: Includes U.S. government contractors and other businesses related to national security.

Some non-essential businesses can keep limited staff on the job

The governor’s order also allows non-essential retailers to take orders remotely and sell products for curbside pickup and delivery.

It permits nonessential businesses to allow the minimum staff necessary on site to handle security, maintenance, mail, and other essential services.

Lamont, who developed the guidelines with the Department of Economic and Community Development [DECD], is encouraging all businesses to employ telecommuting or work-from-home procedures whenever possible.

There is a waiver process, but DECD Commisisoner David Lehman said, “I encourage residents and business to review the guidance carefully and apply for a waiver only if they deem necessary. DECD will also be launching more assistance for small and medium businesses who are impacted by COVID-19 in the coming days.”

To assist Connecticut firms, the department has established a Business Emergency Response Unit, which can be reached by calling 860-500-2333.

Reprinted with permission of The Connecticut Mirror. The author can be reached at [email protected].

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4 Comments

  • As a concerned relative of a non-essential worker in the Physical Therapy business. I must ask why are PT clinics remaining open during the most critical peak of coronavirus . The regional PT clinics are forcing their employees to remain on the front lines even when telehealth is available. These dedicated and defenseless workers don’t have enough masks, gloves and are not taking temperatures upon entry to the clinics. Why are these workers being forced to stay out there having direct hands on contact with patients? They are not being protected nor do the have an option to remain safe at home. Is PT truly that essential during a Pandemic that is about to envelop your State. Can someone speak up and fight for their protection and allow these individuals to stay home safe.

    • I personally have a unique perspective on this because my daughter was finishing her final clinical to graduate with her DPT when the pandemic escalated, and the managing partner ended the clinical early (she had done enough to fulfill her requirements). That particular office is now doing primarily telehealth. PT can be critical for many patients who need to regain movement so they can walk or perform day-to-day tasks. Depending on where this clinic is located, I would bring the issue of lack of protection to the attention of elected officials. Please feel free to email me so I can help point you in the right direction. My email is [email protected]. ~Ronni

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