What professions are considered essential workers?

Coronavirus Updates

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Woody.tv, ABC4 News) As discussions continue surrounding the possibility of a stay-at-home order for all nonessential employees in Utah, many are wondering: Who is considered an essential employee? Should my business stay open or do I need to stay at home?

ABC4 took a look at other state’s orders to get a better idea of who could be classified as an essential employee, however it could vary in Utah should an order actually take place.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defines essential employees as “workers who are necessary to sustain or protect life are defined as critical infrastructure workers” by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Here is their abbreviated breakdown of those critical infrastructure workers and their respective sectors:

  • Health care, public health
  • Law enforcement and first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications, information technology and news media
  • Community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains/safety
  • Defense industrial base 
  • Child care (licensed or unlicensed workers who have arragned to care for kids/dependents of critical infrastructure workers) 
  • Suppliers/distribution centers/service providers
  • Businesses/operations employing critical infrastructure workers needed to support or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers
  • Insurance industry
  • Critical labor union function positions
  • Workers/volunteers in the religious or private sector who provide food shelter and life necessities for the needy or economically needy or those with disabilities

As of Friday, March 27, Govenor Herbert has not yet ordered a stay-at-home mandate but Summit County already has one and both Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson are both calling for one.


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