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Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

What is an ‘Essential’ or ‘Non-Essential’ Employee under Coronavirus Stay Home Orders?

Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order directing residents to stay home exempts ‘essential’ workers

By Katy Grimes, March 24, 2020 1:39 pm

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents immediately to heed current State public health directives to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors and additional sectors as the State Public Health Officer may designate as critical to protect health and well-being of all Californians.

Heed means “to give consideration, attention to.”

In accordance with this order, the State Public Health Officer has designated the following list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state, local, tribal, and industry partners as they work to protect communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

The Healthcare and Public Health Sector considered Essential:

  • Workers providing COVID-19 testing
  • physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, speech pathologists and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists.
  • Hospital and laboratory personnel.
  • Workers in other medical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks, Clinics, Community Mental Health, Comprehensive Outpatient rehabilitation, End Stage Renal Disease, Health Departments, Home Health care, Hospices, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Organ Pharmacies, Procurement Organizations, Psychiatric, Residential, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers, cannabis retailers).
  • Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, personal care/hygiene products, and tissue and paper towel products.
  • Pharmacy employees.
  • …and many more you can find HERE.

Emergency Services Sector Essential Workforce:

  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety and First Responders.

Public Works sector Essential workforce:

  • Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees.
  • Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, construction material suppliers, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues
  • Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
  • Support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste.

Food and Agriculture sector Essential Workforce:

  • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, and other retail that sells food and beverage products.
  • Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – including food preparation, carry-out and delivery food employees.
  • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees.
  • Farm workers.
  • Workers who provide sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail.
  • Animal agriculture workers.

Energy sector Essential Workforce:

  • Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians.
  • all other workers employed by energy companies.

Essential Workforce – Petroleum workers – all workers

Essential Workforce – Natural and propane gas workers

Water and Wastewater sector Essential Workforce:

  • Operational staff at water authorities
  • Operational staff at community water systems
  • Operational staff at wastewater treatment facilities
  • Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring.

The Transportation Systems Sector consists of seven key subsectors, or modes:

  • Aviation
  • Highway and Motor Carrier
  • Maritime Transportation System
  • Mass Transit and Passenger Rail
  • Pipeline Systems consist of pipelines carrying natural gas hazardous liquids
  • Freight Rail
  • Postal and Shipping

Financial Services Sector includes thousands of depository institutions, providers of investment products, insurance companies, other credit and financing organizations, and the providers of the critical financial utilities and services that support these functions.

Communications and Information Technology sector Essential Workforce:

  • Maintenance of communications infrastructure
  • Workers who support radio, television, and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting
  • Workers at Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations, and Network Operations staff, engineers and/or technicians to manage the network or operate facilities.
  • Workers who support command centers, including, but not limited to Network Operations Command Center, Broadcast Operations Control Center and Security Operations Command Center
  • Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers, and database administrators.
  • Customer service and support staff.

There are more sectors including County government workers, critical manufacturing and hazardous materials. For any lingering questions, see the Governor’s Essential Critical Workers listing.

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2 thoughts on “What is an ‘Essential’ or ‘Non-Essential’ Employee under Coronavirus Stay Home Orders?

  1. What is an essential order, in some cases, to Newsom is what is politically advantageous to him personally. Dept. of Housing is deemed essential; why? For all the employees sitting around surfing the internet? (P.S. I know. I work there. That’s what is going on.) We are essential because it would be political suicide for Gavin to say we are not essential since he ran on the housing issue. Therefore, the employees and their susceptibility to Chinese Flu are collateral damage, for Gavin’s political aspirations. The Dept. of Housing cannot do anything in this situation. All our funding is controlled by statute; we have no legal ability to fund any housing for emergency purposes.

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