DECD Guidance on Connecticut Governor's Executive Order 7H
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On March 22, 2020, the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) issued legally binding guidance about which businesses are deemed essential in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 7H.  The Guidance is fairly straightforward and can be accessed here.  Below is a summary of its more salient provisions. 

All businesses that are not designated in the DECD Guidance  as essential will be regarded as non-essential and will, therefore, be prohibited from conducting  in-person business.  This means that  non-essential businesses cannot conduct business on premises in a  live,  face-to-face manner.  They can, however, continue to conduct business remotely, in a customer’s home or by telecommuting or working from home.

Non-essential retailers may be staffed on site but may only offer remote ordering (by phone, internet, mail, dropbox) and curbside pickup or delivery.  Non-essential businesses may only allow staff or third parties on the site to the minimum extent necessary to provide security, maintenance and receipt of mail and packages.  All vehicle sales fall within this category including: auto, boat, bicycle, recreational vehicle and any other vehicles.

Regarding essential businesses, the DECD requests that employees whose duties are not critical, should perform work remotely through teleworking or any other home procedures available to them.

The categories of essential business as approved by the Governor and DECD are as follows:

1. Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security unless otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.

2. Healthcare and related operations including:

  • biotechnology therapies
  • consumer health products and services
  • doctor and dentist offices
  • elder care, including adult day care
  • health care plans and health care data
  • home health care workers or aides
  • hospitals
  • manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, including research and development
  • medical marijuana dispensaries and producers
  • medical supplies and equipment providers, including devices, diagnostics, services, and any other healthcare related supplies or services
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • pharmacies
  • physical therapy and chiropractic offices
  • research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19
  • veterinary and animal health services
  • walk-in-care health facilities

3. Infrastructure including:

  • airports/airlines
  • commercial trucking
  • dam maintenance and support
  • education-related functions at the primary, secondary, or higher education level to provide support for students, including distribution of meals or faculty conducting e-learning
  • hotels and other places of accommodation
  • water and wastewater operations, systems, and businesses
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • transportation infrastructure including bus, rail, for-hire vehicles and vehicle rentals, and garages
  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission

4. All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses

5. Retail including:

  • appliances, electronics, computers, and telecom equipment
  • big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, consumer health products, or operate a pharmacy
  • convenience stores
  • gas stations
  • grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers
  • guns and ammunition
  • hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair
  • liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees
  • pharmacies
  • pet and pet supply stores

6. Food and agriculture, including:

  • farms and farmer’s markets
  • food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities
  • nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores
  • restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

7. Services including:

  • accounting and payroll services
  • animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting
  • auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance
  • bicycle repair and service
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • critical operations support for financial institutions
  • financial advisors
  • financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services
  • funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries
  • insurance companies
  • laundromats/dry cleaning
  • legal and accounting services
  • mail and shipping services
  • marinas and marine repair and service
  • news and media
  • real estate transactions and related services, including residential leasing and renting
  • religious services (subject to Executive Order 7D limiting gatherings to 50 people)
  • storage for Essential Businesses
  • trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing
  • warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

  • food banks
  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • 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 social service agencies

9. Construction including:

  • all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers
  • general construction, both commercial and residential
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes
  • planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities

10. Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings (including services necessary to secure and maintain non­essential workplaces):

  • building cleaners or janitors
  • building code enforcement
  • disinfection
  • doormen
  • emergency management and response
  • fire prevention and response
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • home-related services, including real estate transactions, closings, appraisals, and moving services
  • landscaping services
  • law enforcement
  • outdoor maintenance, including pool service
  • pest control services
  • security and maintenance, including steps reasonably necessary to secure and maintain non-essential businesses
  • state marshals

11. 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

  • billboard leasing and maintenance
  • child care services
  • essential government services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • information technology and information security
  • logistics
  • technology support

12. Defense:

  • defense and national security-related business and operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

If a business is not designated as essential, it can request the designation by submitting the request to the DECD.

For more information, please contact us at any time during this crisis.

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