What's open in NYC? Here's a list of 'essential' businesses covered under NY, NJ, Conn. coronavirus orders

1010 WINS Newsroom
March 24, 2020 - 9:00 am

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced sweeping orders Friday that will severely restrict gatherings of any size for the state's more than 19 million residents and will require workers in nonessential businesses to stay home. The restrictions took effect at 8 p.m. Sunday.

    Gov. Phil Murphy followed Saturday with similar restrictions for New Jersey's 9 million residents. Murphy ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close by 9 p.m. Saturday in order to slow the spread of the coronovirus in the state.

    And Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday signed an executive order that requires all "non-essential" businesses and nonprofit organizations, to shut down or have workers their employees to work from home, through April 22. The restrictions, part of Lamont’s "Stay Home, Stay Safe” message to residents, took effect at 8 p.m. on Monday.

    Now that the 100-percent non-essential worker stay at home order is in effect for New York and New Jersey, many people are wondering what is considered essential?

    Here's what is open in New York City:

    Grocery stores
    Bodegas that make sandwiches
    Wine & Liquor stores
    Restaurants -- for takeout and delivery only
    Automobile Mechanics
    Bike repair shops

    And here is what's covered by New York's order (see New Jersey, Connecticut below):

    1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including:

    research and laboratory services


    walk-in-care health facilities

    emergency veterinary and livestock services

    elder care

    medical wholesale and distribution

    home health care workers or aides for the elderly

    doctor and emergency dental

    nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities

    medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

    2. Essential Infrastructure, Including:

    utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission

    public water and wastewater

    telecommunications and data centers


    transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages

    hotels, and places of accommodation

    3. Essential Manufacturing, Including:

    food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages


    medical equipment/instruments


    sanitary products




    household paper products

    4. Essential Retail, Including:

    grocery stores including all food and beverage stores


    convenience stores

    farmer's markets

    gas stations

    restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)

    hardware and building material stores

    5. Essential Services, Including:

    trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal

    mail and shipping services


    building cleaning and maintenance

    child care services

    auto repair

    warehouse/distribution and fulfillment

    funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries

    storage for essential businesses

    animal shelters

    6. News Media

    7. Financial Institutions, Including:





    services related to financial markets

    8. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:

    homeless shelters and congregate care facilities

    food banks

    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

    9. Construction, Including:

    skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 

    other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

    10. Defense

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

    11. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:

    law enforcement

    fire prevention and response

    building code enforcement


    emergency management and response

    building cleaners or janitors

    general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

    automotive repair


    12. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:


    technology support for online services

    child care programs and services

    government owned or leased buildings

    essential government services

    You can find more on the New York order here.

    Here's what's covered by New Jersey's order:

    New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close by 9 p.m. Saturday in order to slow the spread of the coronovirus in the state.

    Here's what New Jersey defines as essential businesses:

    • Grocery stores, farmer's markets and farms that sell directly to customers, and other food stores, including retailers that offer a varied assortment of foods comparable to what exists at a grocery store;
    • Pharmacies and medical marijuana dispensaries;
    • Medical supply stores;
    • Gas stations;
    • Convenience stores;
    • Ancillary stores within healthcare facilities;
    • Hardware and home improvement stores;
    • Banks and other financial institutions;
    • Laundromats and dry-cleaning services;
    • Stores that principally sell supplies for children under five years;
    • Pet stores;
    • Liquor stores;
    • Car dealerships, but only for auto maintenance and repair, and auto mechanics;
    • Printing and office supply shops;
    • Mail and delivery stores.

    You can find more on the New Jersey order here.

    Here's what's covered by Connecticut's order:

    Gov. Ned Lamont's office said businesses and entities that provide essential services "shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security." The list of those critical infrastructure sectors are here. They include health care, first responders and food/agriculture.

    You can find more on the Connecticut order here.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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