COVID-19 State and Local Restriction Updates

Written by Rob Stott

March 23, 2020

Below, please find the latest updates on areas where known restrictions are in place and information for state and local authorities are available. As the situation is fluid, included are live links to resources where you’ll find the very latest information. The context provided is current as of publication, so to be sure the information you’re using is completely up-to-date, please reference the sources cited and linked in this document. Nationwide Marketing Group will do our best to keep this page up-to-date with the latest information and updates from each state.

Updates below are current as of 3/25 at 5:30pm EDT

California – The California Retailers Association received more clarity on the operation of distribution centers. It states ALL distribution centers can remain open, call centers for “web businesses” can remain open and essential retailers as listed can continue to keep their physical stores open.

Connecticut  Gov. Lamont issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order that is effective Monday, March 23 at 8 p.m. All nonessential workers are being directed to work from home. The order outlines 16 critical infrastructure sectors that track the DHS memorandum. You can view more information and guidance regarding Connecticut’s essential workforce here.

Colorado  The City of Denver has issued a public health order to “stay at home.” The order’s enforcement begins today (3/24) at 5 p.m. Read the order here.

Georgia  Georgia Retailers has a COVID-19 Resource page for state updates and executive orders. At this time, Gov. Kemp is deferring to local municipalities to put ordinances on mass gatherings in place. You can track the latest Georgia updates here.

Illinois  Gov. Pritzker issued an E.O. directing all non-essential business operations to cease and for citizens to stay at home. The order became effective on Saturday, March 21, at 5 p.m. and extends until April 7. You can view the entire E.O. and the list of essential business and operations exceptions here. The IL Retail Merchants Association has a coronavirus resource page here.

Kansas – The National Retail Federation sent a letter to Gov. Kelly encouraging clear statewide guidance regarding “essential retail businesses” and stressing the importance of keeping distribution centers open. In addition, today CORE 4 partners of Jackson County, Mo., Johnson County, Kan., Kansas City, Mo., and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., implement measures to close restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs and movie theaters in their jurisdictions for 15 days. All four jurisdictions decided to ban public gatherings of more than 10 people effective March 16.

Kentucky  Gov. Beshear announced that nonessential retail businesses must close in-store traffic at 8 p.m., Monday, March 23. The order and listing of essential businesses can be found here. The Kentucky Retail Federation has a listing of state and local resources on its website here. … 3/24 Update: The Kentucky Retail Federation has been working with Gov. Beshear and his team to clarify his order banning in-store traffic at nonessential, life-sustaining retail. The current list of nonessential retail can be read here. The governor did clarify at his Monday daily briefing that agriculture businesses, including supply and equipment, were exempt from the in-store traffic ban, citing their role in the food supply chain. Cell phone stores and computer repair shops are also exempt, Gov. Beshear said at the briefing. … 3/25 Update: Gov. Beshear took further action by issuing an order that non-life-sustaining businesses be closed to in-person traffic starting at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 26.In addition to the businesses exempted in the order, the state is incorporating those industries covered under the CISA critical infrastructure memorandum.

Louisiana  Gov. Edwards signed a “Stay at Home” order on 3/23 directing all residents to stay at home as much as possible until at least Monday, April 13. The state is following the DHS/CISA memorandum of guidance on the critical workforce and infrastructure. The guidance for essential businesses is contained in the order.

Maryland – Today (3/23), Gov. Hogan announced he is shutting down all nonessential businesses at 5 p.m., Monday, March 23. We are awaiting further guidance on the Governor’s latest order, which will be posted here.

Michigan – On March 23, Gov. Whitmer issued an Executive Order urging residents to stay at home, except to obtain necessary supplies. For more information, see the Executive Order 2020-21 and the FAQs for more guidance. The Michigan Retailers Association has a regularly updated resource page here.

Minnesota – The Minnesota Retailers Association has a COVID-19 Resource page for retailers looking for local information. Gov. Walz has issued Executive Orders restricting activity for non-essential businesses through March 27, 2020. Gov. Walz’s orders and more information are available at the Minnesota Retailers resource page.

Missouri – The NRF and RILA sent a letter to Gov. Parson encouraging clear statewide guidance regarding “essential retail businesses” and stressing the importance of keeping distribution centers open. Gov. Parson issued an order to require social distancing statewide. The order recommends no gatherings larger than 10 people, including avoiding restaurants, bars and food courts. Drive-through, pickup and delivery operations are not affected. The order does not prevent people from visiting a “variety of places” such as essential businesses. Read the order here. … 3/25 Update: Several counties in Missouri have issued state-at-home orders. Find more information about the specific counties here.

New Jersey  Gov. Murphy directed that all residents stay at home. All non-essential retail businesses must indefinitely close their physical stores to the public as of 9 p.m., March 21. Manufacturing, logistics companies, ports, shipping, food delivery and production and other commercial operations may continue operating but should limit staff on site. Businesses are encouraged to give each employee required to work a letter indicated the employee works in an industry permitted to continue operations. Gov. Murphy also signed E.O. 108, which invalidates any county or municipal restriction that will conflict any provisions of the Governor’s order. Businesses that believe their operations are essential and would like clarification or to seek a waiver from this order may submit their request to the State Director of Emergency Management. We will share contact information for this program as soon as it is available. … 3/24 Update: Gov. Murphy and the Attorney General took a strong stance on enforcement of recent Executive Orders. The governor also asked all essential retailers that are open to be aggressive in sanitizing surfaces, hand-washing among staff and enforcing social distancing of customers and staff. … 3/25 Update: Gov. Murphy released several updates to the list of essential businesses to include phone retail and repair shops, bicycle shops (only to provide service and repair), livestock feed stores, nurseries and garden centers, and farming equipment stores.

New York  Governor Cuomo ordered all businesses statewide deemed not essential to close in-office personnel functions effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason. You can view the Governor’s E.O. guidance here. Here’s the press release announcing the “New York State on PAUSE” E.O.

North Carolina While there is currently NO shelter-in-place order in effect, the NC Retail Merchants Association has been preemptively weighing in with state officials on exemptions for retailers. Their outreach includes grocery stores, pharmacies, auto parts, pet supplies, home improvement/hardware, businesses that assist with remote work or education, bookstores to access educational materials, beverage stores and appliance stores. Additionally, they have advocated that distribution centers and retailers that are delivering straight to a consumer’s residence should continue to be exempt from shelter-in-place rules. To supplement their great work, retailers can send an email to NC Department of Public Safety; email (one per company) to beoc@ncdps.gov and identify: Business name; Point of Contact information; nature of business and why it’s critical to continue operations; and website address. … 3/24 Update:  Gov. Cooper issued a new Executive Order to extend school closings and further restrict bans on mass gatherings to 50 or more people. Several nonessential businesses are being asked to close. View thelatest North Carolina updates here. … 3/25 Update: The N.C. Retail Merchants Association reports that some local orders are more restrictive than the current state Executive Order. They have developed a helpful tracking tool to research and monitor county and municipal orders here.

Ohio  On Sunday, Gov. DeWine directed the Ohio Dept. of Health to issue a “Stay at Home” order effective through April 6, 2020. The order outlines businesses deemed essential and exempt from aspects of the order. The order also incorporates by reference the DHS/CISA memorandum on the critical workforce categories during the pandemic. Businesses are required to practice social distancing, observe cleaning and sanitizing processes, and screen employees’ temperatures daily before work. Screening guidance is available here.

Oregon The NRF and RILA sent a letter to Gov. Brown in Oregon, outlining essential retail businesses. The NRF expects Oregon may decide to expand its emergency declaration to instruct the public to stay at home, except for essential services.

Pennsylvania Due to the high volume of waiver requests, the Governor is delaying enforcement of his order that all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania must close their physical locations. The Governor’s office also produced an updated guidance document based on business community feedback. Again, retailers can submit their waiver requests here. As you are well aware, non-life-sustaining businesses were ordered to close their physical locations on March 19 at 8 p.m. This order stands; only the enforcement timing will change and become effective on Monday, March 23, at 8 a.m. … 3/25 Update: State police are issuing warnings to businesses ordered to be closed. Gov. Wolf’s office reported yesterday that, at press time, the state had so far received 15,092 waiver requests: 2,486 have been approved; 2,135 have been denied; and 1,279 were not required. The Pennsylvania Retailers Association sent a letter to Gov. Wolf requesting a blanket exemption for any retailer who wishes to be open to provide only curbside pick-up and delivery. For more information, contact John Holub at john@paretailers.org.

South Carolina  Gov. McMaster issued an Executive Order to provide regulatory flexibility to businesses selling alcohol to facilitate social distancing and other recommendations from the federal government.

Vermont – Gov. Scott amended his earlier E.O. yesterday to limit all non-essential gatherings to 10 people. Non-essential businesses are ordered to close at 8 p.m. on March 23. At this time, a non-essential gathering does not include normal operations in manufacturing, grocery, food production or retail operations. For more information, the Vermont Retailers and Grocers Association has a resource page here. The VRGA has also submitted a request to the Governor asking for clarity on essential retail businesses. … 3/24 Update: Gov. Scott indicated that a “stay-at-home” order was imminent for the state. Vermont’s current list of recommendations regarding essential businesses can be found here. … 3/25 Update: Yesterday, Gov. Scott followed through and issued a “stay-at-home” order that begins at 5 p.m. on March 25 and extends through April 15, 2020. All businesses and nonprofits not expressly exempted in the order must suspend all in-person operations. Operations that can be conducted online, by phone or facilitated with curbside pickup or delivery can continue.

Virginia  On 3/23, Gov. Northam issued an Executive Order further restricting public gatherings, closing schools for the remainder of the academic year, and limiting business openings. The full text of Executive Order 53 can be found here. Additional guidance and a FAQ guide can be found here.

Washington  Gov. Inslee has issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that is in effect until midnight on April 6, 2020. Exemptions have been provided to businesses and employees in the essential critical workforce. Please see the appendix to his proclamation for more information.


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