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What’s open and closed in every state
A rundown on how government-mandated closures affect businesses near you.
If you live in a state that’s been ordered to shelter in place or an area where nonessential businesses have closed, you might be wondering — what’s still open?
The exact shutdown policies vary from state to state, but here’s what to expect in general.
What’s open during the shutdown?
These businesses are considered “essential” and usually remain open, even during a shutdown:
- Grocery stores
- Farmers markets
- Food banks
- Takeout and delivery only
- Gas stations
- Convenience stores
- Target, Walmart, etc.
- Daycare centers
- Hardware stores
- Auto repair shops
- Essential state and local government services
- Law enforcement
- Post office and postal services
- Veterinary clinics and pet stores
- Food production and processing businesses
- Warehouse, storage and distribution centers
- Rideshare apps, taxis, vehicle rentals
- Good to know: Many grocery stores, big box and convenience stores are offering special hours for elderly shoppers and shoppers with medical conditions. If you’re worried about being exposed to the coronavirus and are considered at-risk, check to see if designated hours are available at your local store. You can also order groceries online — though you may face delays.
Ordering food during a coronavirus shutdown
When you order from a restaurant in a state with shelter-in-place restrictions, here’s how to get the food:
- Delivery. Use a service like UberEats or Doordash to place your order. Someone will pick it up and bring it to your home. You can request that they leave it on your front steps or in the lobby of your apartment to avoid person-to-person contact.
- Bonus: UberEats waived all of its delivery fees nationwide for independently-owned restaurants. So you’ll only have to pay for the food, tax and optional tip.
- Pickup. Call to order in advance, then pick up in person. Many restaurants are using contactless payment methods and only letting one customer in at a time to help maintain social distancing.
- Drive-through. Fast food places like McDonalds, Arby’s, Chick-fil-A and more are still open.
- Meal kits. Take advantage of meal kit services to get fresh ingredients or heat-and-eat meals delivered to your home. Many offer a variety of recipes that cater to special dietary preferences like vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. And you can have your first meal box delivered as soon as within a week from most services.
What’s closed during the shutdown?
Nonessential businesses are required to close during a statewide shutdown, including:
- Bars and nightclubs
- Entertainment venues
- Sports arenas
- Gyms and fitness studios
- Dine-in restaurants
- Front-of-house dining area — excludes takeout
- Hair and nail salons
- Convention centers
Keep in mind that even if a local business is technically nonessential, it may find other ways to adapt and serve customers. For instance, a bar might transform into an online retail store. So you can buy bottles of booze to help support the business even when the bar stools must remain empty.
If you’re missing a particular business, consider checking its Facebook page or website to see whether there are alternative ways you can patronize its goods or services.
States that shut down nonessential businesses
Here’s a list of states in the US that’ve shut down nonessential business so far.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- West Virginia
Even if residents of your state haven’t been instructed to stay at home, you still may encounter mass closures in smaller municipalities — so if you’re on the move, be sure to stay up-to-date on local news.
How long will the shutdown last?
It varies, depending on the state. Visit your state’s website to learn more.
If your state has issued a set end date to the shutdown, remember that this could change depending on how the pandemic progresses.
What’s considered an essential business?
Essential businesses are generally businesses that supply food and other necessities, like medication and cleaning supplies.
In government lingo, they must be “essential to infrastructure.” Basically, whatever is absolutely necessary for society to continue to function.
Are public parks open during the coronavirus shutdown?
It depends on the city and state you live in. And in some cases, it depends on the park. Check your local government’s parks and recreation page for more information.
Even if the public parks in your area are closed, consider getting outside to enjoy the fresh air at least once per day. Social distancing should still be practiced — that is, staying at least six feet away from other people. But the physiological benefits of sunshine and fresh air can be a helpful coping mechanism during uncertain times.
What to do if you’re an affected worker
If you’re employed at a business that’s considered nonessential and think you may be facing unemployment, consider preparing now to help ease the transition.
Also keep in mind that the coronavirus situation evolves every day. And even if the news today is discouraging, there are resources available that can help ease the emotional and financial strain.
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