What is considered "essential" in Charleston's new "stay at home" ordinance?

Ordinance goes into effect Thursday morning

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Yes, you can go to the grocery store under Charleston's "stay at home" order - PHOTO BY KURT COTOAGA ON UNSPLASH
  • Photo by Kurt Cotoaga on Unsplash
  • Yes, you can go to the grocery store under Charleston's "stay at home" order
The City of Charleston's proposed "stay at home" ordinance gained city council's approval Tuesday night in a 9-4 vote. The measure states citizens must stay in their homes and not congregate in the streets or at establishments in the city, unless to work or interact with "essential services." The ordinance takes effect on Thursday at 12:01 a.m.

The full list of the ordinance's essential services that will still be available are:
  • Health care operations - includes elder care and veterinary care
  • Infrastructure operations - includes public transportation, data centers, public water and power generation
  • Manufacturing operations - includes food processing, agriculture/farming, and vehicle manufacturing
  • Retail operations - includes grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurant take-out/delivery services, hardware stores
  • Other service operations - includes trash and recycling collection, shipping services, animal shelters, warehouse distribution, laundromats
  • News media
  • Financial institutions/professional services - includes banks, credit unions, insurance, payroll
  • Providers of basic necessities to the economically disadvantaged - includes homeless shelters and food banks
  • Construction - includes skilled labor such as electricians and plumbers
  • Defense operations - includes defense and national security operations
  • Services to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residents - includes police, security, fire prevention, janitors, and automotive repair
Citizens are directed to stay in their homes, unless the reason for travel falls into one of the "essential" categories.
This ordinance comes in response to the Department of Health and Environmental Control's announcement that COVID-19 is entering its acceleration phase in S.C., the period building to the outbreak's peak. By discouraging large gatherings, city and state officials hope to stop coronavirus cases from dramatically increasing.

Full text of the ordinance via PDF:
Charleston City Council "Stay at Home" Ordinance Charleston City Council

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