What is a Shelter-In-Place Order during the COVID-19 pandemic? This type of order is considered a stay-at-home order that only permits “essential” businesses to remain open. “Essential” businesses and “nonessential” businesses differ from state to state, or local governments. For most states, “essential” would include the following: health care, first responders, food production, food delivery, medical supply, public utilities, communications/information technology, grocery stores, and gas stations. There are some gray areas as well for certain businesses, so it is important to know what you are considered in your state. Particularly if your business ignores the Shelter-in-Place order, you could end up with a civil or criminal penalty depending on location. Some government officials in certain states, including California, Georgia and New York, are even asking people to report businesses that are violating this order.
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