Last night, in addition to releasing Executive Order 7J, Governor Lamont, in conjunction with the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”), issued guidance on the business sectors that are considered essential during the period of the COVID-19 crisis. Essential businesses do not need to reduce their in-person workforce by 100% by 8pm tonight, Monday, March 23, 2020, as generally required by Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7H.

The DECD guidance is related to “places of business” and specifically allows non-essential businesses to continue work that is conducted remotely. In addition to the Department of Homeland Security’s 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, the DECD guidance provides for 11 additional essential business areas. These additional areas include all manufacturers and corresponding supply chains, residential and commercial construction and certain related services, financial institutions such as banks and credit unions, real estate transactions and related services, warehouse/distribution, shipping and fulfillment, technology support, logistics, and many other areas. The full list can be found here.

If a business is not included in the guidance as essential, but believes it is essential, it may apply to the DECD for inclusion. An applying business will need to articulate the reason it believes it is essential, the number of employees required to be in-person, and the specific address at which the in-person work will be conducted. The link to request such exemption can be found here. Any business with a single occupant or single employee is deemed exempt and does not need to apply. However, this exemption is unlikely to allow for previously prohibited businesses to operate, such as hairdressers or personal trainers, even if they would otherwise be considered single occupant or single employee.

Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7J also provides that non-essential retailers may have on-location staff, provided that such retailers may only offer remote ordering and delivery or curbside pick-up. Executive Order 7J further allows non-essential businesses and non-profits to be on-location, to the minimum extent necessary, to provide security, maintenance, receive mail and packages, and complete other services deemed essential in implementing the above described DECD guidance.

We at Carmody are here to help you and your business navigate through the unprecedented changes to the way business is conducted in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our COVID-19 Resource Center is updated regularly to provide you with the latest information and can be accessed here. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your regular Carmody attorney or one of our team members below:

Thomas R. Candrick, Jr.
(203) 784-3103;

Joseph Dornfried
(203) 575-2621;

Matthew H. Gaul
(203) 784-3106;

Joseph L. Kinsella
(203) 575-2645;

Mark J. Malaspina
(203) 575-2625;

Ann H. Zucker
(203) 252-2652;

Wesley D. Cain
(203) 784-3105;

Stephanie E. Cummings
(203) 575-2649;

Kevin G. Palumberi
(203) 252-2692;

Holly G. Wheeler
(203) 784-3158;