We take you on a tour of Dot's Market with owner Robert Bernhard Jr.  (Photo by Amelia Robinson)
Photo: Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson

Coronavirus stay-at-home order: What businesses are considered essential?

A stay-at-home order signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is going into effect Monday night. The order will close non-essential businesses until at least April 6. We’ve compiled a list of essential businesses that will stay open:

Stores that sell groceries and medicine:

Grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets and other stores that sell groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen food, fresh produce, pet supplies, fresh meat, prepared food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and other household products such as cleaning supplies, will remain open. 

Pharmacies and stores that sell medicine, both prescription and over-the-counter, and medical supplies necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and essential functions are included in the order.

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Food, beverage, licensed marijuana and agriculture:

Businesses that manufacture, produce and cultivate food and drinks will remain open. This includes businesses that deal in farming, fishing and livestock. Medical marijuana producers and manufacturers are included. Businesses that care for animals, such as shelters, adoption agencies and kennels will also will remain open. 

Charities and social services: 

Agencies and nonprofits that provide services and essentials to people will remain open. Food banks, shelters and similar businesses, religious and secular, are included.

Religious organizations:

Religious facilities, entities, groups are still permitted, as well as gatherings such as funerals and weddings.

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Newspapers, radio stations, television stations and other media will remain open.

First amendment protected speech

Gas stations and transportation businesses:

Gas stations, auto supply and repair stores, farm equipment, construction equipment, boat repair, bike shops and related facilities will be open. 

Financial and insurance institutions:

Banks, currency exchanges, consumer lenders such as pawnbrokers, consumer installment lenders and sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, businesses that issue bonds, related financial institutions and institutions selling financial products will remain open.

Insurance companies, as well as underwriters, agents, brokers and related insurance claims and agency services also will be open. 

Hardware supply stores:

Businesses that sell plumbing, electrical and heating material will remain open.

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Critical trades:

Those in construction trades such as electricians, plumbers, exterminators, HVAC workers, cleaning and janitorial staff, maintenance staff and anyone who ensures safe work environments are considered essential. 

Mail and delivery services:

Post offices and businesses that deal in shipping and delivery of mail will remain open. Food and grocery delivery are included, especially as restaurants are only available in a carry-out and delivery capacity.

Educational institutions:

Public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities will remain open via online and distance learning. Faculty and staff can also work on critical research and perform other essential functions, provided social distancing practices are followed and people remain six feet apart. 

Laundry services:

Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services and laundry service providers will remain open. 

Restaurants for consumption off-premises:

Restaurants may only remain open for delivery and carry-out. People are not permitted to gather in dining areas. Schools and other businesses that serve food may continue to operate under the same rules. 

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Supplies to work from home:

Businesses that manufacture supplies necessary to work from home will remain open. 

Supplies for essential businesses and operations:

Businesses that sell or manufacture necessary products for those in other essential businesses will stay open to provide the necessities for other essential businesses. 


Taxi services, including businesses like Uber and Lyft, airlines, vehicle rental services, paratransit services, marinas, boat storage, and other private or public transportation, especially as it pertains to other essential businesses, will continue. 

Home-based care and services:

In-home care services for seniors, adults, children or those with developmental disabilities will continue. This is extended to those who deliver meals as well as caregivers or nannies who travel to a home to give care. 

Residential facilities and shelters:

Facilities and shelters for adults, senior citizens, children, people with disabilities, substance abuse issues or mental illnesses and pets will remain open. 

Professional services:

Legal, accounting insurance and real estate services will remain open. 

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Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries:

Those providing services and manufacturing products necessary for pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitation, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense, communication and other products used by essential businesses will remain open. 

Critical labor union functions:

Labor Union essentials, such as administration of healthcare and welfare funds, personnel checking on the health and well-being of those in essential businesses will continue. 

Hotels and motels:

Hotels and motels intended for lodging will remain open. Any food services intended for delivery or carry-out will remain open as well. 

Funeral services:

Funeral homes, mortuaries, cremation and burial services will remain open. 

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