COVID-19 Essential Service: March 23, 2020

March 23, 2020

Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do
not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers,
customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These
businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.
The Baker-Polito Administration issued a list of designated businesses and other organizations that
provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that shall continue to operate brick and
mortar facilities during this two-week time period. This list is based on federal guidance and amended to
reflect the needs of Massachusetts’ unique economy. While these businesses are designated as
essential, they are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance
from the Department of Public Health.
Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations
through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the
brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.
Restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell food and beverage products to the public are
encouraged to continue to offer food for take-out and by delivery if they follow the social distancing
protocols set forth in Department of Public Health guidance continue operations. On-premises
consumption of food or drink is prohibited.
• Workers providing COVID-19 testing; Workers that perform critical clinical research needed for
COVID-19 response
• Medical Professionals and caregivers (e.g., 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, other providers of
mental and behavioral health care, personal care attendants, home health aides and home care
• Hospital and laboratory personnel (including accounting, administrative, admitting and
discharge, engineering, epidemiological, source plasma and blood donation, food service,
housekeeping, medical records, information technology and operational technology,
nutritionists, sanitarians, respiratory therapists, etc.)
• Workers in other medical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks,
Medical Clinics, Community Mental Health Centers, Methadone/OBOT Clinics, 24 hour
Diversionary and Residential Behavioral Health Providers, Comprehensive Outpatient
rehabilitation, End Stage Renal Disease, Health Departments, Home Health care, Hospices,
Hospitals, Nursing Facilities, Rest Homes, Assisted Living Residences, Organ Pharmacies,
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
Procurement Organizations, Psychiatric Residential, Residential Treatment Schools, Rural Health
Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Center s and Community Health Centers, State Hospitals,
and licensed medical marijuana retailers)
• Workers in other 24/7 community resident services serving children and youth, and individuals
with developmental, intellectual, physical and/or cognitive disabilities
• Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of or necessary
to the supply chain 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, and tissue and paper towel products
• Public health / community health workers, including those who compile, model, analyze and
communicate public health information
• Blood and plasma donors and the employees of the organizations that operate and manage
related activities
• Workers that manage health plans, billing, and health information, who cannot practically work
• Workers who conduct community-based public health functions, conducting epidemiologic
surveillance, compiling, analyzing and communicating public health information, who cannot
practically work remotely
• Workers performing cybersecurity functions at healthcare and public health facilities, who
cannot practically work remotely
• Workers conducting research critical to COVID-19 response
• Workers performing security, incident management, and emergency operations functions at or
on behalf of healthcare entities including healthcare coalitions, who cannot practically work
• Workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for
economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters
• Pharmacy employees necessary for filling prescriptions
• Workers performing mortuary services and workers at funeral homes, crematoriums, and
• Workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling,
identification, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal
effects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to mental/behavioral health services to the
family members, responders, and survivors of an incident
• Personnel in emergency management, law enforcement, Emergency Management Systems, fire,
and corrections, including front line and management required to maintain operations
• Emergency Medical Technicians
• 911 call center employees, including telecommunicators, dispatchers and managers
• Fusion Center employees
• Hazardous material responders from government and the private sector.
• Workers – including contracted vendors — who maintain digital systems infrastructure
supporting law enforcement and emergency service operations.
• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail, including farmers markets and farm
stands, that sells food and beverage products, including liquor stores
• Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations – Carry-out and delivery food employees
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
• Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in
food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities;
livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human
food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the
production of food packaging
• Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production,
packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs;
truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply
• Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity
inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs
• Workers supporting the seafood and fishing industry
• Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse
workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers
• Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from
wholesale to retail
• Company cafeterias – in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees; food service workers in
residential schools with students who are unable to leave campus
• Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education
• Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments
• Employees of companies engaged in the production of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and
other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides,
fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids
• Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and
distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed,
and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of
deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations;
slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce
• Organizations and workers responsible for the care and custody of animals, pets and livestock
• Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not
limited to timber, paper, and other wood products
• Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure
necessary to agricultural production and distribution
Electricity industry:
• Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the reliable generation, transmission, and distribution
of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet
maintenance technicians
• Workers needed for safe and secure operations at nuclear generation
• Workers at generation, transmission and electric blackstart facilities
• Workers at Reliability Coordinator (RC), Balancing Authorities (BA), and primary and backup
Control Centers (CC), including but not limited to independent system operators, regional
transmission organizations, and balancing authorities
• Mutual assistance personnel
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
• IT and OT technology staff – for EMS (Energy Management Systems) and Supervisory Control
and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and utility data centers; Cybersecurity engineers;
cybersecurity risk management
• Vegetation management crews and traffic workers who support
• Environmental remediation/monitoring technicians
• Instrumentation, protection, and control technicians
Petroleum workers:
• Petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, road transport
• Crude oil storage facilities, pipeline, and marine transport
• Petroleum refinery facilities
• Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response
• Petroleum operations control rooms/centers
• Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations,
transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
• Onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response
• Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that
support them
Natural and propane gas workers:
• Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations, and road
• Underground storage of natural gas
• Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
• Natural gas security operations center, natural gas operations dispatch and control
rooms/centers natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural
gas leak calls
• Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels,
feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
• Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies,
including propane leak calls
• Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers
• Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use
fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
• Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers
Steam workers:
• Workers who support steam distribution companies’ provision of district heating and any
electric generation
• Workers who support steam distribution companies’ dispatch and control rooms and
emergency response and customer emergencies, including steam leak calls
• Workers who support steam distribution companies’ service maintenance and restoration,
including call centers
• Workers who support steam distribution companies’ storage, transmission, and distribution
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
Employees needed to operate and maintain public and private drinking water and wastewater/drainage
infrastructure, including:
• 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
• Operational staff for water distribution and testing
• Operational staff at wastewater collection facilities
• Operational staff and technical support for SCADA Control systems
• Chemical disinfectant suppliers for wastewater and personnel protection
• Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater
• Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including dispatchers, maintenance
and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that
maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-border travel)
• Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing,
packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use
• Mass transit and passenger rail workers, including contracted vendors providing transportation
and maintenance services to public transit authorities
• Workers critical to operating rental car companies and Transportation Network Companies
(TNCs) that facilitate continuity of operations for essential workforces, and other essential travel
• Workers responsible for operating dispatching passenger, commuter and freight trains and
public transportation and buses and maintaining rail and transit infrastructure and equipment
• Maritime transportation workers – port workers, mariners, equipment operators
• Truck drivers who haul hazardous and waste materials to support critical infrastructure,
capabilities, functions, and services
• Automotive repair and maintenance facilities
• Workers who respond to and clear traffic crashes, including contracted vendors and dispatchers
• Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging
materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing,
packaging staging and distribution operations
• Postal and shipping workers, to include private companies
• Workers who support moving and storage services
• Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, and the
equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and
• Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security,
and aviation management and other workers – including contracted vendors – providing
services for air passengers
• Workers who support the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including
flight crews, maintenance, airport operations, and other on- and off- airport facilities workers
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and
• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works
facilities and operations, including roads and bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet
maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal
maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems
infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues
• Workers – including contracted vendors – involved in the construction of critical or strategic
infrastructure including public works construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas,
electrical, nuclear, oil refining and other critical energy services, roads and highways, public
transportation, solid waste collection and removal, and internet, and telecommunications
systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for
computing services)
• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, inspectors and other service providers
who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential
operation of residences, construction sites and projects, and needed facilities
• Support, such as road and line clearing and utility relocation, 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
• Licensed site clean-up professionals and other workers addressing hazardous spills, waste sites,
and remediation.
• Workers who support the operation, maintenance and public safety of state parks, forests,
wildlife management areas, water supply protection lands, and other critical natural resources.
• Workers who support storm clean-up operations (e.g., foresters).
• Maintenance of communications infrastructure- including privately owned and maintained
communication systems- supported by technicians, operators, call-centers, wireline and wireless
providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations, Internet
Exchange Points, and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment
• 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
• Engineers, technicians and associated personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and
restoration, including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables
• Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as
• Central office personnel to maintain and operate central office, data centers, and other network
office facilities
• Customer service and support staff, including managed and professional services as well as
remote providers of support to transitioning employees to set up and maintain home offices,
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
who interface with customers to manage or support service environments and security issues,
including payroll, billing, fraud, and troubleshooting
• Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration
Information Technology:
• Workers who support command centers, including, but not limited to Network Operations
Command Center, Broadcast Operations Control Center and Security Operations Command
• Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security
personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers,
and database administrators
• Client service centers, field engineers, and other technicians supporting critical infrastructure, as
well as manufacturers and supply chain vendors that provide hardware and software, and
information technology equipment (to include microelectronics and semiconductors) for critical
• Workers responding to cyber incidents involving critical infrastructure, including medical
facilities, SLTT governments and federal facilities, energy and utilities, and banks and financial
institutions, and other critical infrastructure categories and personnel
• Workers supporting the provision of essential global, national and local infrastructure for
computing services (incl. cloud computing services), business infrastructure, web-based services,
and critical manufacturing
• Workers supporting communications systems and information technology used by law
enforcement, public safety, medical, energy and other critical industries
• Support required for continuity of services, including janitorial/cleaning personnel
• Workers to ensure continuity of building functions, including local and state inspectors and
administrative support of inspection services who are responsible for the inspection of
elevators, escalators, lifts, buildings, plumbing and gas fitting, electrical work, and other safety
related professional work
• Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures
• Elections personnel
• Federal, State, and Local, Tribal, and Territorial employees who support Mission Essential
Functions and communications networks
• Trade Officials (FTA negotiators; international data flow administrators)
• Weather forecasters
• Workers that maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting other critical government
• Workers at operations centers necessary to maintain other essential functions
• Workers who support necessary credentialing, vetting and licensing operations for
transportation workers including holders of Commercial Drivers Licenses
• Workers who are critical to facilitating trade in support of the national, state and local
emergency response supply chain
• Educators and staff supporting public and private emergency childcare programs, residential
schools for students with disabilities, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities for purposes of
facilitating distance learning, provision of school meals, or performing other essential student
support functions, if operating under rules for social distancing
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
• Hotel workers
• Critical government workers, as defined by the employer and consistent with Continuity of
Operations Plans
• Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of
construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction)
• Workers that provide services for or determine eligibility for public benefits such as subsidized
health care, food and feeding programs, residential and congregate care programs, shelter, inhome
supportive services, child welfare, juvenile justice programs, adult protective services and
social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy
individuals (including family members)
• Workers in sober homes
• Professional services (such as legal and accounting services) and payroll and employee benefit
services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical
sector services or where failure to provide such services during the time of the order would
result in significant prejudice
• Commercial retail stores that supply essential sectors, including convenience stores, pet supply
stores, auto supplies and repair, hardware and home improvement, and home appliance
• Laundromats and laundry services
• Workers and instructors supporting academies and training facilities and courses for the
purpose of graduating students and cadets that comprise the essential workforce for all
identified critical sectors
• Workers at places of worship
• Workers necessary for the manufacturing of materials and products needed for medical supply
chains including personal protective equipment and hygiene products, transportation, energy,
communications, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, the operation
of dams, water and wastewater treatment, emergency services, and the defense industrial base.
• Workers at nuclear facilities, workers managing medical waste, workers managing waste from
pharmaceuticals and medical material production, and workers at laboratories processing test
• Workers who support hazardous materials response and cleanup
• Workers who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting hazardous materials
management operations
• Workers who are needed to process and maintain systems for processing financial transactions
and services (e.g., payment, clearing, and settlement; wholesale funding; insurance services; and
capital markets activities)
• Workers who are needed to provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including
ATMs, and to move currency and payments (e.g., armored cash carriers)
• Workers who support financial operations, such as those staffing data and security operations
COVID-19 Essential Services
March 23, 2020
• Workers supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chains, including workers at chemical
manufacturing plants, workers in laboratories, workers at distribution facilities, workers who
transport basic raw chemical materials to the producers of industrial and consumer goods,
including hand sanitizers, food and food additives, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper
• Workers supporting the safe transportation of chemicals, including those supporting tank truck
cleaning facilities and workers who manufacture packaging items
• Workers supporting the production of protective cleaning and medical solutions, personal
protective equipment, and packaging that prevents the contamination of food, water, medicine,
among others essential products
• Workers supporting the operation and maintenance of facilities (particularly those with high risk
chemicals and/or sites that cannot be shut down) whose work cannot be done remotely and
requires the presence of highly trained personnel to ensure safe operations, including plant
contract workers who provide inspections
• Workers who support the production and transportation of chlorine and alkali manufacturing,
single-use plastics, and packaging that prevents the contamination or supports the continued
manufacture of food, water, medicine, and other essential products, including glass container
• Workers who support the essential services required to meet national security commitments to
the federal government and U.S. Military. These individuals, include but are not limited to,
aerospace; mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers; IT support;
security staff; security personnel; intelligence support, aircraft and weapon system mechanics
and maintainers
• Personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract to the
Department of Defense providing materials and services to the Department of Defense, and
government-owned/contractor-operated and government-owned/government-operated
If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity
providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.
Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function should only be made if they are NOT
covered by the guidance.
To request designation as an essential business, please click here:
Any questions can be directed to