SEATTLE — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a "stay-at-home" mandate in the state's effort to curb the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). The order allows only "essential businesses" to remain open to the public.

What is an essential business? The state classifies grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors offices, to-go restaurants, gas stations, childcare, marijuana dispensaries and many more to be "essential."

The state posted a full list on its website

Many other sectors, including utilities, agriculture and communications, are also included on the list of essential businesses.

Workplaces that can operate remotely can continue to do so, Inslee said during his address to the public on Monday.

Washington's "stay-at-home" order puts it among at least a dozen states that have put limits on physical interactions to try to slow the spread of the respiratory illness COVID-19.

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Washington's "stay home" order for businesses starts 48 hours after Inslee signs the order, which was expected late Monday. The stay-at-home for residents starts immediately after the order is signed.

The following list contains just a few businesses and workers that the state has classified as "essential." 

Health care

Includes hospitals, healthcare facilities, research centers, suppliers, medical supply manufacturers. 

  • Health care practitioners, including doctors, nurses, medical assistants, dentists, infection control, pharmacists, alternative therapists, midwives, and more.
  • Hospital and laboratory personnel, including administrative workers.
  • Workers in other medical facilities, including blood banks, mental health, and cannabis retailers.
  • Those who provide direct services such as family care providers and those who work in homeless shelters.
  • Mortuary employees.
  • Workers at veterinary clinics.

Emergency Services

Includes police departments and fire stations, county sheriff’s offices, Department of Defense police and fire departments, public works departments, and private security firms.

  • Firefighters, police officers, private security personnel.
  • 911 dispatchers.
  • Workers who maintain bridges, sewers, water, and other maintenance.
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and others in the private sector who help homeowners and property owners maintain and repair their homes.

Food and Agriculture

Includes industries in the production, processing, and delivery of food.

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, farmers markets, food banks, liquor stores that sell food, supermarkets, and big box stores.
  • Restaurants that offer carry-out or delivery.
  • Food manufacturers and processors, including those in the beverage industry and shellfish industry.
  • Farm workers and companies that support agriculture.
  • Forest products workers, including lumber and paper.
  • Cannabis stores.

Energy and Water

Includes those in electricity, oil, and natural gas industries.

  • Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers and utility workers.
  • Gas stations and truck stops.
  • Petroleum manufacturers.
  • Water and wastewater facilities can remain open.

Transportation and Logistics

Includes aviation, public transit, highways freight and postal.

  • Postal and shipping workers.
  • Mass transit and ferry workers.
  • Automotive, motorcycle, bicycle and motorized wheelchair/scooter repair and maintenance facilities.
  • Truck drivers.
  • Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security, and aviation management.

Communications and Information Technology

Includes telephone, information technology, and media.

  • Workers who support internet, telephone, cable and other communications services.
  • Workers who support radio, television, newspapers and media services, including reporters, studio workers, technicians, and also workers involved in the printing and distribution of newspapers.
  • Workers involved in communications service repair and restoration.
  • Workers responding to cyber incidents involving critical infrastructure.
  • Support required for continuity of services, including janitorial/cleaning personnel.

Community-based Government Operations

  • Critical government workers, including the Governor’s Office.
  • State and county workers responsible for determining eligibility for safety-net benefits.
  • Elections personnel.
  • Public and private childcare establishments, licensed pre-K establishments, and school district workers who facilitate distance learning, school meals or child care for essential workers.
  • Laundromats and laundry services.

This is not a complete list of workplaces that will be allowed to operate during the stay-at-home order. The full list is available from the state's website.

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Coronavirus | Facts not Fear

What are coronavirus symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization.

Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.

Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.

Washington state call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.