the Times 

Defining essential


Governor Jay Inslee’s statewide order to close all nonessential businesses by March 25, unless the employees can work from home, leaves many Washingtonians asking what qualifies as an “essential” business and whether or not they need to go to work while the order is in effect.

People who qualify as essential workers include those working in the following sectors:


•Emergency services

•Food and agriculture


•Water and wastewater

•Transportation and logistics

•Other community-based government operations and essential functions

•Critical manufacturing

•Hazardous materials

•Financial services


•Defense industrial base

For the complete list of who is an essential worker, visit:

For questions about status, to request inclusion as an essential worker or to report suspected violations of the governor's orders, go to for more information.


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