Governor Ned Lamont just announced that he will order all workers at “non-essential” businesses to stay home during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

CEMA members have been asking if oil, propane, gasoline/c-stores, and HVAC are exempted from this order. While the Order has not been formally issued, the Governor did specifically say that “fuel” like gasoline would be exempt.

The Governor also said that Connecticut would be following the Department of Homeland Security Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 which specifically states that workers in these businesses are essential:

  • Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels
  • Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them
  • Data center operators, including system administrators, HVAC & electrical engineers, security personnel, IT managers, data transfer solutions engineers, software and hardware engineers, and database administrator

Note that we are still waiting for the official list from the state, but the above was cited by the Governor as the guidance that Connecticut planned on following.


  • The formal process will be laid out in an Executive Order, with a formal list of critical industries.
  • Businesses that are non-essential will have to stay closed and not open.
  • More details and a full list of exempted businesses will be included in the Governor’s Executive order which is expected to be released sometime this evening.
  • Commissioner David Lehman (DECD) will be in charge of inventorying and approving the critical industries that will be exempt
  • Certain businesses and industries, that will be deemed essential, will be allowed to stay open.

Other key points:

  • State will work on this on a community basis, but there will be no fines for individuals
  • State will promote self-enforcement and they will not be heavy handed on the enforcement of the Order by public safety officials, but businesses could be subject to fines if they refuse to close.
  • Package stores? They will stay open at this time
  • Restaurants/coffee shops? Allowed for takeout only
  • Hardware/auto repair? They are considered essential and will stay open

Note that the Governor indicated in his press conference that non-essential individuals will not be subject to fines for violating the order but that businesses could face punishment if they fail to comply.

We will send a copy of the Governors Order and the states list of exempt industries as soon as it is released.