Essential services during COVID-19

HOLT, Fla., March 2, 2020–Got questions about what’s considered essential services during the 30-day stay-at-home order?

During yesterday’s video news conference, Gov. DeSantis mentioned guidelines outlining essential services provided by the Dept. of Homeland Security.

Broadly, below are considered essential services that should remain open and in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to DHS:

  • Healthcare/public health – doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc.
  • Law enforcement/public safety/other first responders
  • Food and agriculture – grocery stores, feed/pet stores, restaurant carry-out
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics – truckers, delivery/postal services, towing services, DMV, auto repair, etc.
  • Public works and infrastructure support services – plumbers, electricians, exterminators, etc.
  • Communications and information technology – TV, radio, internet
  • Other community- or government-based operations and essential functions – educators, election support, judicial system support, Census 2020 support, weather forecasters, real estate, etc.
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services – banks, credit unions, etc.
  • Chemical
  • Defense industrial base – military, civilians, contractors
  • Commercial facilities – building materials, ecommerce, hardware stores, appliance repair, etc.
  • Residential/shelter facilities and services – homeless shelters, animal shelters, food pantries, elderly services, etc.
  • Hygiene products and services – laundromats, laundry/dry cleaning services, janitorial services, etc.

For more details on what is included as essential services, the Florida Division of Energy Management has the complete DHS list at


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