COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Guidance – Essential vs. Non-Essential Businesses FAQ

In late February, it became increasingly clear that community transmission of COVID-19 had already begun to take hold in communities throughout the United States.  Cities and counties on the West Coast were the first to take action by initially isolating more vulnerable groups, which included older citizens and those with underlying health conditions.  By mid-March, six counties in California became the first to enact “shelter-in-place” orders, and on March 19th, Governor Gavin Newsom mandated the countries first state-wide order.

To date, all but a handful of states have taken action to mitigate the spread of the virus.  On March 21st, St. Louis City and St. Louis County joined several other state and local municipalities to issue emergency orders to contain the spread of COVID-19.  Kansas City, Missouri, and Springfield, Missouri, have also released “Stay-At-Home” orders, which took effect on March 24th and March 26th, respectively.  On April 3rd, Governor Michael Parson issued a state-wide “Stay Home Missouri” order that took effect on April 6th.

With so many different emergency orders issued at the state and local level, some businesses and individuals are left struggling to determine what is considered an essential or non-essential business.  To provide additional insight on this topic, Crane Agency has created 3 FAQ documents that provide further guidance:

St. Louis City & St. Louis County Stay-At-Home FAQ

Kansas City, Missouri Stay-At-Home FAQ

Springfield, Missouri Stay at Home FAQ

The CDC has also provided Federal Social Distancing guidelines, which currently extend through at least April 30th.  To practice social or physical distancing:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings

It’s still too soon to say if these measures and their staggered implementation within states and across the country will do enough to slow the spread of COVID-19 to a manageable level.

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker (

State Data and Policy Actions to Address Coronavirus (
To date, states have taken a number of actions to mitigate the spread of the virus and reduce barriers to testing and treatment for those affected. This data tool provides state-level information on:

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