March 24, 2020

After Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, is your business on 'essential' list?

By: Kris Johnson   Comments: 0
Gov. Jay Inslee, speaking from his office, gave a statewide address on Monday, March 23, 2020, announcing a mandatory "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order. Only businesses deemed "essential" or those whose workers can work remotely are allowed to stay open. (Photo via Gov. Jay Inslee's Medium page)
Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order Monday tonight directing all residents to stay home unless they need to pursue an essential activity.

The “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which is similar to orders in other states, will ban all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, and close all businesses except those deemed essential unless employees can work from home.

The full list of sectors and workers deemed essential is available here.

Major categories include:
• Health care/public health
• Emergency Services
• Food and Agriculture
• Energy
• Water and Wastewater
• Transportation and Logistics
• Communications and Information Technology
• Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions
• Critical Manufacturing
• Hazardous Materials
• Financial Services
• Chemical
• Defense Industrial Base

This is an unprecedented moment in our history, and one that has already caused significant damage to our state and national economies. Tonight’s order will no doubt cause further impacts to Washington employers.

Earlier on Monday, when it was apparent this order was coming, AWB sent a letter to Gov. Inslee urging him to carefully balance the public health impacts with the economic impacts of the fight against the coronavirus. AWB stands with the governor in the battle to stop the spread of the virus, but we also recognize the need to preserve every job possible to aid in the eventual recovery from this crisis.

Specifically, the letter requested the governor adopt the federal guidelines outlined by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) as a baseline, and work with employers to build upon them and add further essential sectors.

The list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” released Monday evening by the governor’s office was indeed modeled after the federal guidance. AWB appreciates the dialogue with the governor and his staff during this important time.

Employers looking for more information review the list of essential sectors and workers outlined by the governor.

If your business is not listed, or you’re unclear whether it is considered essential, please email this address: