Governor Ducey Prohibits Local Governments from Shutting Down “Essential Services”
With concerns about the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) mounting, many local governments have taken action to prevent the spread of the virus, including disaster measures directing the temporary closure of certain businesses that pose a high risk of community spread.
On Monday March 23, 2020, Governor Doug Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-12, ordering that no county, city, or town may prohibit someone from performing an essential service. The Executive Order designated the following services as “essential”:
- Healthcare and Public Health Operations;
- e.g., hospitals, clinics, dental offices, pharmacies, public health entities, etc.
- Human Services Operations;
- e.g., long-term care facilities, residential settings, shelters, etc.
- Essential Infrastructure Operations;
- e.g., food production, distribution, and sale; construction; utilities; building management; oil and biofuel; waste and recycling, etc.
- Essential Governmental Functions;
- e.g., park personnel, first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement, court personnel, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, etc.
- Essential Businesses and Operations;
- e.g., grocery stores; food, beverage and agriculture; outdoor recreation; organizations providing charitable and social services; media; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial institutions; hardware and supply stores; critical trades (building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen); mail and delivery services; educational institutions, including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, providing that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained; laundry services; restaurants for take-out dining; businesses that sell supplies to work from home; transportation; home-based care services; residential facilities and shelters; professional and personal services (legal, accounting, insurance, personal hygiene); day care centers for employees performing essential services; manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products (pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitizations); hotels and motels; and funeral services.
Governor Ducey’s Executive Order, available here, provides the complete list and descriptions of essential services. If you have any questions about the impact of this Executive Order, reach out to an attorney at Mesch Clark Rothschild.