Email: COVID-19: Essential Services Guidance from Federal Government (3/20/20)


With states and local governments issuing new orders and laws to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, the most common question we are hearing is whether your business or industry will be deemed “essential” in the event a “shelter in place” order is issued in South Carolina. To date, no such order has been given by Governor McMaster. Instead, he is encouraging employers to allow employees to work from home if they can.

Yesterday, the US Department of Homeland Security- Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response” to help state and local governments and the private sector ensure that employees essential to operations of critical infrastructure can continue working with as little interruption as possible. CISA’s guidance identifies 16 broadly defined critical industries.

A detailed explanation of CISA’s guidance can be found here, along with frequently asked questions, and full details are also on their website.

We believe CISA’s guidance is a starting point, and we are researching other factors to consider when and if the Governor and his administration have to determine which businesses to deem essential in the event a shelter in place order is given. 

Maintaining the ability of essential industries to continue doing business is a top priority for the Chamber. Our staff is working closely with both national and state-level officials to convey this priority. We have asked Governor McMaster and his team to consult with the business community well before making any decisions that will affect them.

As always, we will keep you up to date on any new information as it becomes available. Please feel free to reach out to us at COVID19Response@scchamber.net anytime.