ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction. 

Do you want to report non-compliance?  Click here. 

New York State is defining essential services as the following:

Essential health care operations including

  • research and laboratory services

  • hospitals

  • walk-in-care health facilities

  • veterinary and animal health services

  • elder care

  • medical wholesale and distribution

  • home health care workers or aides

  • doctor and dentist offices

  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities

  • medical supplies and equipment providers

Essential infrastructure including

  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission

  • public water and wastewater

  • telecommunications and data centers

  • airports/airlines

  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages

Essential manufacturing including 

  • food processing, including all foods and beverages

  • chemicals

  • medical equipment/instruments

  • pharmaceuticals

  • safety and sanitary products

  • telecommunications

  • microelectronics/semi-conductor

  • agriculture/farms

  • paper products


Essential retail including

  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores

  • pharmacies

  • convenience stores

  • farmer’s markets

  • gas stations

  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)

  • hardware and building material stores


Essential services including

  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal

  • mail and shipping services

  • laundromats/dry cleaning

  • building cleaning and maintenance

  • child care services

  • auto repair

  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment

  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries

  • storage for essential businesses

  • animal shelters or animal care or management


News media 

Financial Institutions including

  • banks

  • insurance

  • payroll

  • accounting


Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including

  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities

  • food banks

  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support


Construction including 

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 

  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes



  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government


Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses including 

  • law enforcement

  • fire prevention and response

  • building code enforcement

  • security

  • emergency management and response

  • building cleaners or janitors

  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

  • automotive repair

  • disinfection

  • doormen


Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including 

  • logistics

  • technology support

  • child care programs and services

  • government owned or leased buildings

  • essential government services


If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.   To request designation as an essential business, please click here.

Agriculture information: 

Interim Guidance for Horticulture  March 24, 2020 from NYS Agriculture and Markets
This guidance is provided for greenhouse operations, landscapers, arborists, garden centers, and nurseries.  
Background: In December 2019, a new respiratory disease called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) was detected in China. COVID-19 is caused by a virus (SARS-CoV-2) that is part of a large family of viruses called coronaviruses.  
On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed the “PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all nonessential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Essential businesses are exempt from this guidance. Horticulture operations as defined below have been deemed essential and are exempt. 
Horticultural Operations:  For purposes of Executive Order 202.6/PAUSE Executive Order, "Essential Business" states “agriculture/farms,” which includes the horticulture industry. As outlined in Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA Section 301, horticulture is a key component of agriculture and New York State farms.   
For horticultural operations, the Department defines the following businesses/activities as consistent with Executive Order 202.6:  
• Production, movement, maintenance, and sale of vegetable plants, nursery stock, trees, plants, and flowers at greenhouse and nursery operations. • Tree and shrub trimming and removal for disease, safety, and public health purposes.  • The placement and ground maintenance of sod, landscaping plants, flowers, ornamentals, and trees on residential and commercial grounds. • Transportation necessary to meet any of the above functions.  • Agribusiness, including the sale and application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and minerals, that support any of the above functions.  
If a business does not fall within this guidance, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business. Request designation as an essential business. 
FOR EMPLOYEES Cleaning/Disinfecting and Social Distancing:  All privately-owned facilities must practice social distancing, and proper cleaning and sanitizing of the facility. This includes:  
• Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This should be done: o Before and after eating. o After sneezing, coughing, or nose blowing.  o After touching face, hair, cellphone, and/or clothing. o After using the restroom. o Before handling food. o After touching or cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated. o After using shared equipment and supplies. • Covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or the corner of elbow. • Disposing of soiled tissues immediately after use. 
It is encouraged that businesses post signage with handwashing procedures in prominent locations to promote hand hygiene. Clean and disinfect buildings and equipment as outlined in this guidance. 
For additional information, visit the links below: 
NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets: NYS Department of Health: 

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