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Who Is Considered an Essential/ Critical Employee During the COVID19/ Corona Virus Pandemic?

In response to the ever expanding COVID19 pandemic, on 3/23/20, Gov. Larry Hogan directed all ‘non-essential’ businesses to close down and cease operations. The next logical question would be to what businesses and employers does this mandate apply? The critical nature of some businesses seems obvious: hospitals, energy producers and utilities, food supply and distribution, ISPs, law enforcement and emergency medical services. The critical and essential nature of some businesses was heretofore unknown, or underappreciated.

  • Alcoholic beverage stores and distributors, distilleries, and wineries.
  • Medical cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries.

These businesses are allowed to stay open under the terms of the Governor’s order, as are insurance companies. The Federal Government uses the terms “critical” rather than essential. Guidance on the types of businesses that are critical, and allowed to operate in the current environment can be found here.