After seven Bay Area counties issued a sweeping new shelter-in-place order to help stop the spread of COVID-19, many residents and business owners have been left scratching their heads: What, exactly, will be open?
The orders — which mirror one another closely — describe a list of “essential” businesses that may continue operating over the next three weeks.
Aside from obvious exemptions like health care facilities, utilities and grocery stores, various other businesses were deemed essential — including hardware stores, plumbers, some legal services and newspapers.
Some large technology companies, meanwhile — including Google and Apple — have received exemptions to perform certain duties, but most of their workers will be at home with everyone else, according to Santa Clara County officials.
Here’s the full list of businesses that will continue functioning over the next few weeks:
- Healthcare operations and infrastructure (hospitals, utility PG&E)
- Grocers, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, food banks, convenience stores, and other retailers selling food — including those that also sell products aside from food
- Food cultivation businesses (farming, fishing)
- Businesses or organizations providing social services, food or shelter to the needy
- Newspapers, television, radio and other media
- Gas stations and auto-related businesses, including repair shops
- Banks and financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Plumbers, electricians, and other service providers that keep businesses running
- Shipping and mailing businesses
- Educational institutions — like schools — to provide distance learning and other essential functions
- Laundry services (laundromats, drycleaning companies)
- Restaurants for delivery and take-out only
- Businesses that supply people with items required to work from home, or businesses that supply essential businesses with necessary supplies
- Businesses that ship groceries and supplies directly to homes
- Airlines, taxis, and private transportation services
- Home-based and residential care for seniors, adults and kids
- Legal and accounting services that keep businesses in compliance
- Childcare facilities, with certain stipulations, like only having groups of 12 kids together at a time