On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all Californians to stay home in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an exemption, however, for businesses that help to maintain the continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure sectors.
On March 22, 2020, the State Public Health Officer designated the following 13 business sectors as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Sectors:”
Healthcare/Public Health Sector: This sector includes both public and private businesses, such as publicly accessible healthcare facilities, research centers, suppliers, and manufacturers, including businesses that provide information technology systems that support the date transmission and storage needs of these other businesses.
Emergency Services Sector: While this sector is largely dominated by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels of government, it also includes private sector resources, such as industrial fire departments, private security organizations, and private emergency medical services providers.
Food and Agriculture Sector: This sector consists of companies engaged in domestic production, processing, and delivery systems, as well as companies engaged in the importation of ingredients and finished products from across state and international borders.
Energy Sector: This sector includes business engaged in the production, refining, storage, and distribution of electricity, oil, and natural gas.
Water and Wastewater Sector: This sector includes businesses engaged in the testing and distribution of drinking water, as well as the collection and sanitation of wastewater. The sector includes business that repair these crucial systems and provide support products.
Transportation and Logistic Sector: This sector encompasses companies engaged in and supporting seven subsectors of transportation: (i) aviation; (ii) highway and motor carrier; (iii) maritime; (iv) mass transit and passenger rail; (v) pipeline systems; (vi) freight rail; and (vii) postal and shipping. This also includes business that provide logistical support to any of these subsectors.
Communications and Information Technology Sector: This sector includes companies that produce, install, and repair both the physical communications infrastructure, e.g., buildings, switches, towers, antennas, etc., and the cyber communications infrastructure, e.g., routing and switching software, operational support systems, user applications, etc.
Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions Sector: This sector is a bit of a “catch-all” sector that includes businesses as diverse as weather forecasting, childcare, legal services, accounting services, construction services, laundromats and laundry services, and even hotels (under certain circumstances). If your business doesn’t fall neatly within one of the other sectors, your business may fall under this exemption.
Critical Manufacturing Sector: This sector includes manufacturing businesses engaged in the manufacturing of primary metals, machinery, electrical equipment, appliances and components, and transportation equipment.
Hazardous Materials Sector: This sector includes businesses managing medical waste and waste from pharmaceuticals and medical material production, as well as laboratories that process test kits. It also includes businesses that support hazardous materials response and cleanup, and businesses that maintain digital systems that support management operations for this sector.
Financial Services Sector: This sector consists of companies such as depository institutions, investment companies, insurance companies, credit and financing organizations, and providers that support these critical financial utilities and services.
Chemical Sector: This sector includes businesses involved in the production and supply of basic chemicals, specialty chemicals, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products.
Defense Industrial Base Sector: This sector encompasses companies that research, develop, design, produce, deliver, and perform maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts, for the U.S. military. This includes companies and their subcontractors that have contracts with the Department of Defense, and companies providing incidental materials and services to the Department of Defense.
Descriptions of each sector, as well as the workers who qualify as an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” within each sector, can be found here.
If you are unsure whether your business qualifies under any of these exemptions, please contact us.