What is an “essential” business? Counties differ on who who should work during shelter in place

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With Gov. Greg Abbott resisting calls for a statewide stay-at-home order, local officials are tasked with deciding which businesses and employees are essential. This strategy means the rules differ from county to county, and many employees are confused about why they’re being called in to work.

By Sami Sparber, Texas Tribune

Shelter in place and work from home, local officials across the state ordered Texans this week. Unless, of course, you work for an essential business — like a hospital, a grocery store or a day care.

Airports and mail carriers are essential, too. And so are oil and gas workers.

In Houston, furniture stores are also considered essential. And in Collin County, shortly after residents were instructed to stay at home, the county judge declared that actually every business is exempt from the order because “all businesses and all jobs and all workers are essential.”

Essential workers and businesses are allowed and sometimes required by the government to stay open during an emergency.  Read more…