Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Dec. 2, 2020

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State’s jobs deemed essential in ‘stay’ order

A partial list of what Inslee is allowing to remain open


Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency stay-at-home order closes many businesses but allows those deemed essential to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak and supporting communities around the state to remain open.

The full list is 14 pages long and can be found on the special coronavirus page on the governor’s website. Here’s a partial list of essential business categories and some job functions that will be able to stay open:

Health care and public health: Workers providing testing and clinical research for the COVID-19 response, including doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, midwives and dulas, alternative health care providers and social workers.

Hospital and laboratory personnel: Workers at other medical facilities, such as ambulatory health and surgical centers, clinics, blood banks, outpatient care, long-term care and hospices.

Also, manufacturers, technicians and others involved in making medical equipment or devices, personal protective equipment, vaccines and testing materials.

Security personnel for medical facilities are on the list, as are veterinary hospitals and clinics.

Emergency services: Law enforcement personnel, public safety and first responders, military personnel, 911 call center employees and hazardous material responders are among essential services.

People who work on dams, bridges, sewer and water systems and other infrastructure also are on the list.

Food and agriculture: Workers at or supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail outlets for food and beverages, as well as convenience stores, food banks and farm produce stances.

Restaurant carryout employees, along with food manufacturing and processor workers including meat, milk, cheese and other produce plants are on the essential list along with farm workers and forest products workers.

Energy: Workers who maintain or restore electric power generation and transmission systems will remain on the job, along with workers in nuclear power, petroleum products, pipeline and transport workers, and natural gas and propane storage, transmission and distribution workers.

Transportation: Truck drivers, dispatchers, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, along with those who enable transportation functions are considered essential workers. Also, those who maintain and inspect roads and other infrastructure.

Postal and shipping workers, mass transit workers and taxi drivers and their dispatch personnel are on the list, along with people who repair autos, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, rail equipment or marine vessels.

Air traffic controllers and airport ramp, security and management crews, as well as flight crews and maintenance workers for airlines will remain at work.

Communications: Maintenance workers for cable service, wireless and satellite operations are considered essential employees, along with those who support newspapers, television, radio and media service, including those who gather and report news, along with engineers and technicians associated with fiber optics and data centers.

Financial: People needed to process and maintain systems for financial transactions, and those who provide consumer access to banking and lending services, including ATMs, are on the list.

Others: The list of essential services also includes critical government workers, elections personnel, federal, state and tribal workers who support essential functions, workers supporting public and private child care establishments, or education systems at all levels providing “distance learning” or school meals.

Check the full list for more details on economic sectors and their essential workforce. To clarify status or to petition to be added to the list, go to the Washington State Business ReEntry Registration website at