Safer home ordering and essential services explained

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — On April 1, Governor Ron Desantis signed the Safer At Home Order which will take effect April 3 at midnight and expire April 30, unless extended by a later order.

To prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the state of Florida, the new order restricts travel to only essential workers, travel to purchase essential supplies, and essential activities.

Because the list of essential workers is broad, Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford says he doesn’t expect essential travel traffic to be disrupted in any way.

“I don’t expect us to be out there stopping vehicles and saying, you know, where are you going, what are you doing, just because it’s broad on what’s allowed as a as an essential activity or essential undertakings.”

Essential activities include participating in recreational exercise, while adhering to social distancing guidelines, such as walking, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, running, or swimming. Caring for a loved one or friend and caring for pets are also considered essential activities.

Grocery stores will remain open and their supply chains unimpeded as per the order, but Ford suggests avoiding overly crowded lines and staying six feet away from other residents when shopping for essentials.

There are many essential services in the community whose operations will not be hampered by the order. Businesses are encouraged to review the list to make decisions about closures while the order is active.

Here are examples of essential services in each category:

Health / public health – Healthcare providers and carers, including doctors, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners and nurses.

Law enforcement, public safety and other first responders – Emergency management, law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, private security and 911 services.

Food and agriculture – Workers working in grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and other retail businesses, including vending and unattended vending machines, that sell human food, animal/pet food, pet supplies and drinks. Fast food and take-out operations in restaurants, and delivery and delivery employees.

Energy – Workers supporting the energy sector, regardless of energy source.

Water and wastewater – Employees required to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure.

Transport and logistics – Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse employees, truck stop and parking area employees. rest, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, and roadside assistance workers.

Public works and infrastructure support services – Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC technicians, landscapers and other service providers who provide services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals and senior residences.

Communications and Information Technology – Workers who support radio, television, and media services, including but not limited to front-line reporters, studios, and technicians for newsgathering, reporting, and news publishing .

Critical Manufacturing – Workers who produce or manufacture parts or equipment that support continued operations for all essential services and remote workforce augmentation.

Hazardous Material – Workers who handle hazardous materials associated with any other essential activity, including but not limited to medical waste.

Financial services – Workers who are necessary to maintain orderly market operations to ensure the continuity of financial transactions and services.

Chemical – Workers supporting chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers in chemical manufacturing plants, workers in laboratories, workers in distribution facilities, workers transporting basic chemical raw materials to producers of industrial and consumer goods, including hand sanitizers, food and feed additives, pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings, textiles, building materials, plumbing, electrical and paper products.

Defense industrial base – Workers who support essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and the U.S. military.

Commercial facilities – Workers who support the building materials supply chain from production to application/installation, including cabinets, fixtures, doors, cement, hardware, plumbing, electrical , heating/air conditioning, refrigeration, appliances, paint/coatings and employees who provide services to repair materials and equipment for essential functions.

Residential/shelter facilities and services – Workers in dependent care services, in support of workers in other essential goods and services. Animal shelter workers.

Hygiene products and services – Workers who manufacture hygiene products. Laundromat, laundry service and dry cleaner workers.

The order encourages any business whose staff are able to work remotely to do so. For services that cannot be continued at home but are considered essential, the order states:

“Where continued remote working is not possible, companies should implement strategies to reduce the risk of disease spread. This includes, but is not limited to, separating staff by staggering hours or working days and/or social distancing.

For a more detailed list of essential workers, click here.

Michelle J. Kelley