Essential businesses remaining open during W.Va Stay at Home order

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- West Virginia residents are being ordered to stay at home beginning Tuesday night at 8. The order will make all non-essential travel and work stop across the state to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Essential businesses prepare to remain open after West Virginia's stay at home order goes into effect Tuesday evening.

While most businesses will close or have employees work from home, there are several exceptions. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's stay at home order identifies the following as essential businesses and operations:

  • Healthcare, public health operations and health insurance companies
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Food, beverage and agriculture
  • Essential government function including first responders and certain government entities
  • Human service organizations and childcare facilities and providers
  • Essential infrastructure including food production, construction, airports and utilities.
  • Coal mining and coal-fired electric generation facilities
  • Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Financial and insurance Institutions
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades including plumbers, electricians, exterminators and janitorial staff
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics delivery and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions including food programs as long as people follow social distancing guidelines
  • Laundry services
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for essential business operation including electronics and household appliances
  • Home-based care services
  • Professional services including legal, accounting, insurance and real estate services
  • Media and other first amendment protected speech
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services and related businesses as long as people follow social distancing guidelines

Included in the essential business list are car dealerships and repair shops. Thornhill Auto Group is one business that will remain open to help people with any transportation needs.

"We're here if a vehicle breaks down, if they needs tires, service centers are open if something were to happen," dealer executive Sydney Brown said. "If keys were to be locked in a vehicle or someone is without transportation and needs a new or pre-owned vehicle, we are able to do that as well."

Brown said employees are constantly cleaning surfaces, equipment and vehicles to make sure everyone is able to stay healthy and on the road. That includes emergency service vehicles they repair.

"Our main concern is everybody's safety at this point," Brown said. "I want our customers to feel welcome when they are coming in. We are cleaning, trying to do everything to keep things bright and fresh, but vehicles are being wiped down, customer courtesy vehicles, the test-drive vehicles, everything is being highly attended to right now."

Thornhill was forced to lay off some employees this week, Brown said, but plans to rehire them as soon as business picks back up. They are operating on a split shift schedule to allow workers to remain at least 6 feet apart to meet social distancing guidelines.

Contractors are also staying on the job site to make sure the homes people are staying in are safe.

Royal Renovations is changing the way their employees operate by limiting crews to two workers and doing most construction outside to avoid small spaces inside homes.

"If we hit our big jobs on the outside, we can go ahead and get those knocked out," James Harbaugh said. "That puts everyone on hold for the inside work, but that can be done later in the year when this all blows over. As long as we stay healthy and we keep ourselves going, we can keep the jobs going and then by the end of the year, everyone who needs their inside jobs done, we can do those."

"A virus doesn't stop a leaking roof," Harbaugh continued. "If anything might happen that is unforeseen circumstances, we need to be there to fix it."

Harbaugh said they are wiping tools off with alcohol cleaner after every use and separating supplies for different types of work to prevent cross contamination.