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Delaware Governor Issues Statewide Order Closing All Non-Essential Businesses

On March 22, 2020, Governor John Carney, issued the fourth and fifth modifications to his state of emergency declaration, closing all non-essential businesses and ordering Delawareans to stay at home.

The order requires all businesses, other than those that are classified as “essential,” to close on March 24, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. E.D.T. The non-essential businesses shall remain closed until after May 15, 2020, or until the public health threat of COVID-19 has been eliminated. These non-essential businesses may continue to offer goods and services over the internet. While essential businesses may remain open, they must follow the coronavirus guidelines for public safety enumerated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Delaware Department of Health & Social Services’s Division of Public Health.

The order specifically defines “essential” and “non-essential businesses,” but in general, the categories for essential businesses are: (1) healthcare/public health; (2) law enforcement/first responders; (3) food and agriculture; (4) energy; (5) transportation and logistics; (6) public works; (7) communications and information technology; (8) other community-based government operations and essential functions; (9) manufacturing; (10) hazardous materials; (11) financial services and insurance; (12) chemical; (13) defense industrial base; (14) construction; (15) necessary products retailers; (16) necessary retail and service establishments; and (17) open air recreational facilities.

Non-essential businesses include: (1) hospitality and recreation facilities; (2) concert halls and venues; (3) theaters; (4) sporting event facilities; (5) golf courses and shooting ranges (unless they conform with social distancing requirements); (6) realtors; (7) certain business support services; (8) shopping malls; and (9) retail stores not included in the definition of essential business.

In addition, the state published a detailed chart outlining the businesses deemed to be “essential.”  The chart is organized by industry and contains North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) codes for each industry. All businesses should have a NAICS code or codes on their unemployment insurance forms or on their most recent tax return. If a business has multiple NAICS codes, then the business may follow the least restrictive NAICS code under which the business is classified. So, if a business has an NAICS code for an industry that is to remain open, then the business may remain open.

Businesses that have not been deemed essential can petition to have their status changed by emailing covid19faq@delaware.gov. Decisions will be made within one-week of submission.

The governor’s orders and guidance have been rapidly changing on a day-by-day basis.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 83


About this Author

Dean J. Shauger Labor $ Employment Litigation Attorney Ogletree Deakins Law Firm Philadelphia

Dean Shauger is an associate in the Philadelphia office of Ogletree Deakins.  Dean represents employers in labor and employment matters, including litigation involving discrimination, wage and hour issues, and proceedings before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.  His litigation experience encompasses all aspects of litigation, as well as assisting with settlement opportunities where litigation is not consistent with a client’s ultimate objective.

Dean graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University School of Law...

Daniel O'Meara, Shareholder

Daniel O’Meara is a Shareholder in the Philadelphia office of Ogletree Deakins. Dan has been a practicing attorney for nearly 30 years, with extensive experience in employment litigation, labor relations and preventive human resource practices. Dan has substantial experience in matters involving trade secrets, noncompete agreements, and the employee duty of loyalty. He has written and spoken extensively on these subjects, and in a two-year period, obtained more than 60 injunctions for employers in courts around the country. Dan has successfully tried cases to a conclusion in state and federal courts, and in arbitration. He served for a time as the sole in-house employment counsel at a Fortune 200 company.