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COVID-19 Resources Page

The Role of the Mulch & Soil Industry in a National Emergency

Commercial Food Production:

o According to the 2012 Agcensus of the USDA, greenhouse production of fruits, berries, tomatoes and other greenhouse vegetables totals $663,462,674 in the U.S. food supply annually.

o Mushrooms and vegetable transplants add another $1.3 Billion for a total greenhouse production of food crops of almost $2 Billion annually.

o Maintaining our national food supply under all circumstances begins with having the essential growing materials to support crop production.

o Crop production begins with growing media and soil amendments produced by professional mulch & soil manufacturing companies.

Home Food Production:

o 76% of households in the U.S. have a yard or garden (87.4 million households)

o Prior to 9/11, vegetable gardening was estimated at 7%-9% of U.S. households with a yard or garden or up to 7.8 million households.

o After 9/11, rumors of food shortages and food safety caused great public concern, and by 2004, the number of vegetable gardens rose to 68% of households with a yard or garden or approx. 60 million households.

o Not since the Victory Gardens of WWII had there been such a growth in home food production that made Americans more self-sufficient.

o To meet the demand for home food production, the mulch and soil industry provides essential growing media for raised bed gardens, soil amendments for existing in-ground gardens and bark-based soil amendments for organic improvement of soils and mulch for prevention of weeds, temperature control, moisture control and erosion control in garden plots and beds.


COVID-19 Pandemic:

• Agriculture & Food Production:

o Grocery stores are demonstrating unprecedented food shortages

o Consumers are experiencing a very high level of food insecurity

o All this results in more consumer demand for self-sufficiency through home food production

o Due to the very short growing seasons around the country, typical consumer demand (without the pandemic) will utilize 60% of industry production in the 17 weeks from March 1 to July 1. (Approx. 33 million cu yd of mulch and 22 million cu yd soils).

o The time to prepare beds and plant crops is set by the growing season, which is emerging across the nation now.

o The mulch & soil industry must continue production (following CDC social distancing guidelines at plants) if it is to adequately meet the public need for food production in this time of national emergency. That is why mulch & soil manufacturers are considered (and must remain) essential supply chain manufacturers for hardware stores, building materials stores, garden centers, nurseries and landsca pe businesses.

• Essential Retailers: Hardware Stores, Building Supply, Garden Centers & Nurseries:

o Essential retailers are necessary to supply the public with materials for home food production,

o Consumers need access to construction materials to fabricate raised bed gardens for vegetable crop production,

o Consumers also need access to materials to prepare existing in-ground garden beds for new vegetable crop production,

o Essential retailers also can provide one-stop shopping for garden soils, seeds, mulch and other necessary supplies,

o The availability of garden materials and products is critical now as the start of the Spring planting season defines the optimum opportunities for food crop planting, growth and harvest which maximizes the public's self-suficiency during this unpredictible emergency period.

o That is why mulch & soil manufacturers are considered (and must remain) essential supply chain manufacturers for hardware stores, building materials stores, garden centers, nurseries and landsca pe businesses.

• Landscape Businesses:

o Many states are right in recognizing landscape maintenance as essential businesses during an emergency.

o Maintaining your landscape is a health and safety issue.

o Tall grass attracts mice, snakes and other vermin.

o A forest of weeds promotes poor soil health and attracts hordes of crawling insects.

o Mulch & Soil Companies provide the essential soil amendments for landscapers to improve the soils around residences and buildings, landscape & garden soils to fill holes and replace erosion losses, raised bed soils for new above ground planters and potting soils for container vegetable gardening.

o Mulch & Soil Companies also supply landscapers with essential mulch supplies for prevention of weeds (reducing the need for chemicals), temperature control (for plant root health), moisture control (for water conservation) and erosion control in garden plots and beds

• Public Health & Well-Being:

o During this national emergency, Stay-At-Home Orders are causing tremendous family tension and stress.

o Children are home with limited activity options.

o Adults are worried about affording rent and food.

o Gardening:

• is known to reduce stress.

• can provide adults and children with outdoor activities and fresh air that build mind and body.

• can help put food on the table from spring through fall.

o Gardening is an essential activity during a national emergency and it requires the support of Mulch & Soil Companies as essential businesses.

Annotated State "Stay-At-Home" Orders


Alabama issued a statewide Stay-At-Home Order effective April 4 through April 30. The Order recognizes Hhorticulture, agriculture, forest products, warehouse clubs, hardwares stores, building supply stores, home improvement stores, supply chain manufacturers and CISA Guidelines for essential businesses and services including landscape.

***April 30: (Review updated (4/28/20) order:PDFHERE )
- Face coverings required outside home
- Infected people must quarantine 14 days
- Non-work gatherings limited to 10 ppl
- Retailers open at 50% capacity w/ social distancing & frequent sanitizing surfaces
- Entertainment, athletic & close-contact services (hair salons, barbers, etc.) remain closed
- Hospital & nursing home visitations closed to visitors
- Dental, medical or surgical procedures may proceede.

***May 11: See updated (5/8/20) Order:HERE.
- All non-work gatherings of ANY SIZE that cannot maintain social distancing are prohibited,
- Employers shall maintain SD for workers to the extent possible,disinfect surfaces, encourage handwashing, minimize employee travel,
- Retailers shall limitcustomers to 50% of normal occupancy, enforce SD, disinfect surfaces,
- Barber shops, hair salons, tatoo parlors, nail salons and other personal services businesses must SD, disinfect, wear face masks, wash hands and disinfect surfaces,
- Athletic facilities shall SD, disinfect, limit to 50% approved Occupancy, wear masks, etc.,
- Bars, night clubs, bowling alleys, arcades, concert venues, Ttheaters, racetracks, indoor play areas, etc., shall be closed,
- Athletic activities involving iteractions between people of 6-feet or less or use of shared apparatus shal remain closed,
- Beaches must enforce SD,
- RestaurantsMay offer on-site food service with 6-ft SD, wmployees wear face masks, self-servicedrink stations and salad bars remain closed.

***May 21: Safer At Home Order (Get copy:PDFHERE )
In addition to the conditions defined for April 30 and May 11, the following new rules apply:
- Entertainment venues open with SD and other rules,
- Athletic activities can start practices May 23 and competition on June 15,
- Schools can open June 1 subject to guidelines,
- Child care facilities open subject to strict guidelines,
- Summer Camps open subject to SD & sanitation guidelines.

Arkansas Governor plans to loosen business restrictions if Covid-19 cases decline in next few weeks to May 1. Starting April 27, limited surgeries may resume but elective surgeries still prohibited.

***May 1: Download Executive Order: HERE
- All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are subject to the directives of the Secretary of Health,
- All businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, and places of worship shall adhere to social distancing protocols issued by the Secretary of Health,
- All travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans and all international locations shall follow the quarantine directives of the Secretary of Health,
- K-12 schools and extracurricular activities, including athletic events and practices, will remain closed for on-site instruction,
- Clubs and Bars shall remain closed until cleared to open,
- Casinos and outdoor and indoor entertainment venues shall remain closed ,
- State government employees will continue to conduct business through both remote work and on-site work. On-site government work will be limited to employees that are critical to the necessary function of government during a public health emergency and are required to report to work on site.

***May 4:
- Gyms (including fitness centersjclubs, fitness classes, and group fitness studios) may resume operations as of May 4, 2020, pursuant to the directives of the Secretary of Health.

***May 6:
- Barbers, Body Art Establishments, Body Art Schools, Cosmetology Establishments and Massage Therapy Clinics/Spas, and Medical Spas may resume operations as of May 6, 2020, pursuant to the directives of the Secretary of Health.

***May 11:
- Restaurants may continue takeaway and delivery service, adhering to Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations, and they may resume dine-in operations as of May 11, 2020, pursuant to the directives of the Secretary of Health.

***June 18:
- Executive Order 20-33: All businesses and their employees shall be immune from civil liablity as a result of exposure to COVID-19. Immunity does not apply to willful, reckless or intentional misconduct. A presumption that the actions are not willful or reckless if the business owner substantially complies with public health directives. Immunity does not extend to worker compensation benefits. Immunity is effective from today until the emergency is terminated.

- Executive Order 20-34: Health care workers and providers are authorized to use crisis standards of care to respond to treat COVID-19 patients. The health care providers as emergency workers are immune from civil liability. Immunity does not extend to willful, reckless, or intentional misconduct. Immunity is effective from today until the emergency is terminated.

- Executive Order 20-35: Assures workers compensation coverage for employees. COVID-19 is considered an occupational disease under the law. COVID-19 shall be an exception to prohibition on compensation for ordinary diseases of life. There must be a causal connection between employment and the disease. Extends during the public health emergency.

PDFAZ Until Rescinded

Arizona recognizes landscape maintenance businesses as essential infrastructure and hardware and construction materials stores as essential businesses. Also, businesses that sell, manufacture or supply other essential businesses and operations with the support or materials necessary to operate are essential businesses.>

Download a copy of the April 29 Order Revision: PDFHERE

***May 4: Non-essential businesses can sell goods through delivery, walk-up service, window service, drive-through service, drive-up service, curbside delivery or appointment provided they establish and impliment best practices for Covid-19 as outlined in the order.

***May 8: Non-essential retailers whose business involves the sale of goods may open, operate and offer goods for sale to customers in their stores provided they establish and implement protocols and best practices for businesses to address COVID-19 as outlined in this order. Shopping malls and other enclosed areas where people may congregate must limit operations.

***May 16: (see EO 2020-36:PDF HERE)
- Individuals should social distance,
- Vulnerable populations should take extra precautions,
- Businesses should follow CDC, OSHA and ADHS recommendations,
- Nothing in the order prohibits constitutional rights to speech and religeon, and
- The order shall be considered for repeal every 2 weeks.

PDFCA Open Ended
California's Stay-At-Home Order references the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Infrastructure Safety Administration's Guidelines for 16 essential Business categories PDFCISA Guidelines.

***May 12: Download CA Roadmap to 4 stages of reopening:PDFHERE

***July 13: Roll-Back
- CLOSED: All INDOOR operations STATEWIDE for Restaurants, Wineries, Movie theaters, family entertainment, Zoos, museums, Cardrooms.
- Bars must CLOSE ALL operations.
- 30 counties must CLOSE INDOOR OPERATIONS for Fitness Centers, Places of Worship, Offices for Non-Critical Sectors, Personal Care Services, Hair Salons and Barbershops, and Malls.


The Colorado Stay-At-Home order refers to a previous Order 20-24 that identifies essential businesses including food, ag and hardware stores and "- any business that produces products critical or incidental to the processing, functioning, development, manufacture, or delivery of any of the categories of products included in this part 3. AND -Any manufacturing necessary to support a Critical Business." Here is a link to Order 20-24 for details: PDFColorado Order 20-24. ***Denver extends Stay-At-Home Order to April 30.

***April 27: (See EO 2020-44:PDFHERE)
- CO begins Safer-At-Home where non-essential retailers can fill orders curbside.

***May 1:
- Retailers can open to limited customers with social distancing and companies can reopen offices at 50% of workforce.

***June 4: Safer At Home UPDATE (see guidance document: PDFHERE)
- Office based businesses may return at 50% occupancy with SD,
- Childcare may operate under state guidance,
- Schools closed remaining school season,
- Field services and Real Estate open with restrictions,
- Limited healthcare settings with restrictios,
- Non-critical manufactureing that can be done with fewer than 10 ppl in a room with SD,
- Nursing Homes and congregate care facilities with restrictions,
- Personal services (hair salons, barbers, tattoo parlors, etc.) may reopen with state restrictions,
- State parkcampgrounds may reopen by reservation only and at reduced capacity,
- Retail operations may resume with 50% limit on occupancy and other restrictions,
- Children's day camps and sports camps with restrictions,
- Dine-in restaurants may reopen at 50% capacity (or a maximum of 50 patrons) and other restrictions,
- Personal recreation limited reopening with restrictions,
- Outdoor recreation for groups fo <10ppl with SD.

PDFCT To TBD The Connecticut order actually recognizes nurseries and garden centers as exempt essential businesses. It also includes “Big Box” stores and hardware and building materials stores.

***May 20: Phase 1 Business Reopening (See EO 7PP: PDFHERE),
- OUTDOOR dining may reopen with restrictions,
- Offices may reopen pursuant to "sector rules",
- Large shopping malls and retail establishments may reopen subject to "sector rules",
- Zoos, museums and other businesses may reopen subject to "sector rules",
- Large gatherings >5 ppl prohibited.

PDFDE To TBD Delaware recognizes hardware stores as essential businesses and is the first state to specifically name Lawn & Garden Centers and Suppliers as essential businesses.

***June 1: Phase 1 Reopening:
- Retailers and restaurants are scheduled to open their indoor spaces at 30 percent of stated fire capacity during Phase 1 of Delaware’s economic reopening,
- Restaurants, bars, taprooms and craft breweries may also apply to expand outdoor seating capacity to safely serve additional customers,
- Applications to expand outdoor seating capacity will be available on Friday, May 22, and expansions would be authorized to begin on June 1.

PDFFL Reopening In Process  On April 1, Florida issued a state-wide Stay-At-Home Order. Essential businesses are defined by the Dade Councty list of essential businesses that include hardware stores, landscape companies and their supply chain manufacturers which are included in the link to this order.

Download the April 29 Executive Order: PDFHERE

***May 4:
- Groups more than 10 should be avoided
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Follow 14 day isolation traveling into Fl from esewhere
- Bars, pubs and nightclubs remain closed
- Restaurants/food establishments can do on-premises consumption of food and beverages if adoptingsocial distancing and capacity is reduced to 25% of permitted occupancy
- Outdoor dining is permitted with social distancing and seating parties of 10 or fewer people/ table. Counter food service is closed.
- Gyms, fitness centers remain closed
- Vacation rentals closed.

***June 5: Phase II Reopening (See EO 20-139:PDFHERE)
- Restaurants and other establishments, and bars and other vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, may operate at fifty (50) percent of their indoor capacity, excluding employees, as under Executive Order 20-123, Section 1.
- Bar areas may be open with seated service.
- Outdoor seating is permissible with appropriate social distancing.
- Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, and arcades may operate at fifty (50) percent of their building capacity, with appropriate social distancing between groups and appropriate sanitation.
- Pari-mutuel facilities may seek to operate with a written request from the County Mayor or if no mayor the County Administrator to the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the approval of the DBPR Secretary.
- Personal services, including but not limited to tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture, tanning and massage, may operate with appropriate safety guidelines as outlined by the Department of Health.

PDFGA To June 30

 The Georgia Executive Order dated April 3 describes essential businesses as those covered by the DHS CISA Guidelines that include landscape businesses, hardware stores, building materials retailers, etc.

***April 24: A copy of the April 20 order may be downloaded: PDFHERE
- Elective surgical centers, bowling alleys, tatoo studios, barbers, beauticians, estheticians,and masseuses may reopen.
- Dentists, orthodontists, optometrists, Physical therapists, ambulatory surgical centers,and all other healthcare practices and facilities may open,
- Instances where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons, such as delive1y services, contractors, landscape businesses, and agricultural industry services may open.

***May 1: See April 23 Order HERE.
- All resident shall practice social distancing,
- Everyone STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to wear a face mask in public,
- Everyone shall practice good sanitation,
- No business shall allow gatherings (>10 ppl),
- Essential Workers described by CISA Guidelines 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0,
- All high risk people shall shelter in place,
- Restaurants may resume dine-in services (with lots of rules) effective April 27,
- Critical infrastructure that maintain in-person business must follw state guidelines to mitigate spread of Covid-19,
- All non-critial infrastructure businesses that continue in-person transactions shall follow state guidelines tomitigate spread,
- Public pools, performance venues, amusment rides, and bars remain closed,
- All retail businesses and restaurants shal limit patrons to 50% of fire permit occupancy,

***June 16: (See GA Executive Order 6/16/2020 PDFHERE)
- At risk people shall shelter in place,
- Restaurants and Dining Rooms as weil as ali banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues where food is served that operate during the effective dates of this Order shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19 among its patrons and workforce.
- Critical Infrastructure and non-critical businesses that continue in-person operation during the effective dates of this Order shall implement measures which mitigate the exposure and spread of COVID-19. Such measures may include, but shall not be limited to the following, which shall be implemented to the maximum extent practicable:
1. Screening and evaluating Workers who exhibit Symptoms of COVID-19;
2. Requiring Workers who exhibit Symptoms of COVID-19 to not repott to work orto seek medical attention;
3. Enhancing sanitation ofthe workplace as appropriate;
4· Disinfecting common surfaces regularly;
5. Requiring handwashing or sanitation by Workers at appropriate places within the business location;
6. Prohibiting Gatherings of Workers during working hours;
7· Permitting Workers to take breaks and lunch outside, in their office or persona! workspace, or in such other areas where proper Social Distancing is attainable;
8. Implementing teleworking for all possible Workers;
9. Implementing staggered shifts for ali possible Workers;
10. Holding ali meetings and conferences virtually, whenever possible;
11. Delivering intangible services remotely, whenever possible;
12. Discouraging Workers from using other Workers' phones, desks, offices, or other worlc tools and equipment;
13. Prohibiting handshaking and other unnecessary person-toperson contact in the workplace;
14. If in use, open sales registers must be at !east six ( 6) feet a part;
15. Point of sale equipment, including PIN entry deviees and signature pads, should be frequently cleaned and sanitized.


Iowa issued a state medical emergency that closed non-essential retail stores, restaurants, bars, salons, etc., but did not close "discount Stores that sell "essential food, medical supplies and other household items".

***May 13: (See IA Pub Health Notice 2020.05.13: HERE.)
- Vulnerable populations should continue to shelter,
- Restaurants, fitness centers, malls, reopen at 50% capacity, 6' distancing, no table seating >6ppl,
- Salons, Barbers, Mediacl Spas, etc. reopen at 50% capacity, by appointment only, social distancing where possible,
- Campgrounds, race tracks, libraries, drive-in theaters, social and fraternal clubs may reopen with limitations,
- Bars, movie theaters, casinos, gaming facilities, senior centers, amusements (bowling, arcades, amusement parks, etc.), museums, skate parks and rinks, playgrounds, swimming pools and door-to-door sales are CLOSED.

***June 1: (See Pub. Health Order 2020.05.26: PDFIA)
- Most businesses and services can reopen at 50% capacity with additional restrictions such as groups limited to 1-ppl or less, SD, etc.,
- Indoor theaters for live performances, senior citizen centers and indoor playgrounds remain CLOSED.

PDFID Until Rescinded

Idaho recognizes hardware stores and landscapers as essential businesses and any “Businesses that supply other essential businesses..."

***April 15, retail businesses can reopen curb-side pick-up orders and deliveries.

***May1-May15: (Download IDAHO REBOUNDS: PDFHERE)
- Vulnerable population remmain quarantined
- Telework encouraged
- Visitors prohibited at senior facilities and jails
- Bars, nightclubs, indoor gyms, hair salons and barbers, theaters closed
- Places of Worship may reopen with social distancing
- Daycare Centers and organized youth activities and camps may reopen

***May 16: See Reopen Order Phase 2: HERE.)
- Vulnerable population should self isolate,
- Visitors from out of state should self isolate,
- Bars, nightclubs snf lsrge venues (theaters, concert halls, sporting venues, public pools, etc.) will remain CLOSED,
- No gatherings >10ppl,
- Proper social distancing, personal hydiene and facility disinfection procedures should be followed.

PDFIL To MAY 30 Illinois recognizes and references the Federal CISA Gudelines, hardware stores and supply chain manufacturers for essential businesses.***MAY 1 GREENHOUSES & GARDEN CENTERS can reopen as essential businesses***Employees and customers must wear face coverings with social distancing
PDFIN To May 23

The Indiana stay order was revised on April 6 and recognizes the CISA Guidance for essential businesses and now specifically includes hardware stores, building supply stores, mebership clubs and supply chain manufacturers.

***Executive Order 20-26 describes the first 2 of 5 stages for the "Roadmap to Reopen Indiana". Download a copy:HERE

PDFKS To June 15 The Kansas has issued a 4-phase reopening plany you can download:PDFHERE

***Phase 1 – May 4
- Gatherings >10ppl prohibited,
- Social Distancing in Public and masks encouraged,
- Telework strongly encouraged,
- Minimize or avoid nonessential travel,
- Community centers, entertainment venues >2,000ppl, fairs, festivals, parades, graduations, public pools, organized sports facilities and summer camps -- CLOSED,
- Bars, nightclubs, casinos, indoor liesure spaces, fitness centers, gyms, and personal services businesses -- CLOSED,
- Childcare facilities and libraries -- OPEN.

***Phase 2 - May 18
- Gathers >30ppl prohibited,
- Social Distancing in Public and masks encouraged,
- Telework strongly encouraged,
- Minimize or avoid nonessential travel,
- Entertainment venues >2,000ppl, fairs, festivals, parades, and graduations -- CLOSED,
- Casinos operating under state guidelines and bars and nightclubs operating at 50% of total occupancy -- OPEN,
- Childcare facilities, libraries, public pools, community centers and organized sports facilities -- OPEN

***Phase 3 - June 1
- Gatherings >90ppl prohibited,
- Individuals follow personal hygiene recommendations,
- Employers' on-site staffing is unrestricted,
- Nonessential travel may resume.

***Phase 4 - June 15
No limits on travel, gatherings or businesses.



Kentucky recognizes the CISA Guidelines for essential businesses plus hardware stores and Ag supply & equipment stores. Also, the state recognizes businesses like landscaping for maintenance of residential, commercial and governmental buildings.

***April 27 pre-surgical medical meetings and diagnostics reopen but surgeries still delayed.

***May 11: Download 5/8/20 update:HERE.
- Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain businesses may reopen,
- Vehicle and vessel dealerships may reopen,
- Horse race tracks may reopen without in-person spectators,
- Pet care, dog grooming and boarding businesses may open,
- Photography businesses may reopen,
- Office-based businesses (including professional services, finance, accounting, legal, insurance, engineering, real estate, scientific/technical, property management) can reopen at 50% of capacity.

PDFLA To June 5 The state references guidance by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) which includes language we believe is favorable to members.

***May 15: (See Phase 1 Resilient Louisiana Order: HERE.)
- Vulnerable people should self isolate,
- Avoid any group that doesn't allow social distancing,
- All businesses with direct contact with customers must require employees to wear masks,
- All public amusement places and massage parlors, tattoo parlors, etc. remain CLOSED
- Essential businesses defined in CISA Guidelines 3.0 remain open,
- Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops may open at 25% capacity,face masks, strict social distancing, Reservations only or wait outside at 6ft apart, no buffet or common refill service,
- Beauty shops, salons and barbers may open at 25% capacity, waiting areas closed (wait outside), face masks,
- Malls may open at 25% capacity, face masks, common seating closed, food mall takeout only,
- Churches, casinos, fitness clubs and gyms, may all open at 25% capacity, no open common areas except restrooms, face masks worn by employees.

PDFMA To June 1 Massachusetts has extended its Stay-At-Home Order to May 4 and issued a new document:PDF COVID-19 Essential Services that recognizes nurseries, greenhouses, garden centers, ag supply stores, hardware stores, building materials stores, supply chain vendors and landscapers as essential businesses.

Before a business can open it must develop a WRITTEN Covid-19 Control Plan including:
- A control plan template ( available at ),
- Compliance attestation poster,
- Other posters describing social distancing and personl hygiene for employees, etc.

***May 18 (See Reopening Massachusetts Plan: (HERE.)
- Essential business continue to operate,
- Manufacturing reopens,
- Construction reopens,
- Worship services reopen,
- Hospitals and health centers who meet public safety standards can do high priority preventative care, pediatric care and high risk patient care.

***May 25:
- Lab and life sciences facilities reopen,
- Hair salons and barber shops by appointment only,
- Pet grooming by appoinment,
- Exterior car washes,
- Recreation and outdoor (with guidelines),
- Other health care providers,
- Retail (remote fulfillment and curbside pickup only),

***June 1:
- Offices in the city of Boston.



Paragraph IV(a) of the Maryland Order relies on the CISA guidelines to define essential businesses. On April 15, Governor Hogan signed an Executive Order mandating the public (over age 9) wear face masks using public transit, in retail spaces and for all retail workers in pulic spaces or employee spaces where social distancing is not possible. Download a copy PDFHERE

***April 24, Gov. Hogan introduces state plan to reopen economy titled: PDFMaryland Strong

PDFME To August The Maine Order refers to a definition of essential businesses provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development which is provided here: PDF Maine Essential Business List and includes hardware stores and garden centers as essential businesses.

Download a Copy of Restarting Maine's Economy: HERE

***May - Stage 1: (No date)
- All openings per checklist standards,
- Gatherings >10 pp; prohibited,
- Work from home encouraged,
- Professional services (legal, etc.) done remotely,
- Construction firms should deploy additional PPE and safety measures (unspecified),
- Drive-in Theaters may reopen,
- Healthcare from Maine licensedproviders,
- Golf courses open with restrictions,
- Guided hunting, fishing and marinas reopen,
- Some 30 State parks, trails and historic sites may reopen but coastal publiclands closed,
- Barber shops, hair salons and dog groomers reopen,
- Stay-in-vehicle church services permitted,
- Auto dealers and car washes reopen.

***June - Stage 2: (No specific date)
- All openings per checklist standards,
- Gatherings >50ppl prohibited,
- Restaurants and lodging open with restrictions,
- Campgrounds and RV Parks may reopenfor instate residents or out-of-state after 14-day quarantine,
- Day camps for Maine children (others ost quarantine),
- Coastal state parkswith some services,
- Fitness and excercise gyms and nail technicians,
- All retail businesses (per checklist standards).

***July/August - Stage 3: (No specific date.)
- All openings per checklist standards,
- Bars, lodging, such as hotels, campgrounds, summer camps, or RV parks for Maine residents and visitors. The Administration is developing guidelines (e.g. potential testing requirements) to assist them in safely reopening, and reservations should not be taken until those guidelines are issued,
- Charter boats <50 ppl,
- State park campgrounds,
- Summer camps,
- Personal services (spas, tatoo parlors, massage facilities, etc.).

***Stage 4 - TBD

PDFMI To May 28 APRIL 24, Michigan posted a revised Stay-At-Home Order recognizing ***garden centers and plant nurseries. *** as essential businesses that may open with social distancing and other provisions. Also included are hardware stores, landscape businesses and lawn care operations. Download EO 2020-59 from link in left cloumn.

***May 7: Revised Executive Order 2020-77 (Download copy:HERE)
- Individuals may leave their homes to travel to perform resumed activities described under §10 of order,
- §10(c) RESUMED businesses include: Workers for garden stores, nurseries, and lawn care, pest control, and landscaping operations, subject to the enhanced social-distancing rules described in section 11(i) of this order,

- § 11(i). Businesses or operations whose in-person work is permitted under sections 10(c) through 10(e) of this order must also:
1. Prohibit gatherings of any size in which people cannot maintain six feet ofdistance from one another,
2. Limit in-person interaction with clients and patrons to the maximum extent possible, and bar any such interaction in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another,
3. Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed,
4. Adopt protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible and to ensure frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfection of tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces,

- §11(k) Manufacturers Must:
- Conduct daily employee screenings,
- Designate specific facility entry points,
- suspend non-essential in-person visits,
- Train workers on: how Covid-19 is transmitted, Distance virus can travel in air, symptoms of disease, how to notify business of symptoms, measures facility is taking to prevent workerexposure, rules to follw to prevent spread and how to use PPE. - Reduce congestion in common spaces,
- Impliment rotational work shifts if possible,
- Stagger start and meal times,
- Install work station barriers if possible,
- Limit contact on delivery of materials to plant,
- Limit sharing of tools and equipment,
- Frequently disinfect high contact areas,
- Have sufficient hand washing/sanitizing stations available,
- Notify management of potentially exposed individuals upon identification of positive case,
- Send potentially exposed people home,
- Encourage employees to selfreport,
- Shut areas of facility for cleaning if virus exposure detected.

- §12 Retail Operations:
- Must apply social distancing in stores and wait lines,
- Stores <50,000 sq ft limit customers to 25% of capacity,
- Stores >50,000 sq ft limit customers to 4.1,000 sq ft and create 2 hours/week for dedicated shopping of at-risk/vulnerable populations,
- May sell any merchandise normally carried in the store.

- §15 Face Masks:
- Everyone who can medically tolerate wearing a face mask MUST wear a mask in public,
- An individual may be required to temporarily remove a face covering upon entering an enclosed public space for identification purposes,
- All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers.


The Minnesota Order is very short and references the CISA Guidance for essential businesses which includes hardware and building supply stores and landscapers. April 8 MN expanded its definitions for essential workers to include sawmills, wood products, landscape & lawncare, garden centers, hardware stores, building supply stores: Download a copy PDFHERE

***May 3: Download a copy of the Reopen Order: PDFHERE
- Stay-At-Home Order extended to May 17,
- Face masks encouraged in public settings,
- Nonessential travel discouraged,
- Outdoor recreational performances, competitions, team events, tournaments, races, rallies, organized sports, fairs, or any other events where social distancing is prevented are prohibited,
- Lawncare, landscaping, garden center, stores and nursery workers that adhear to state Ag guidence are essential workers. - NONESSENTIAL BUSINESSES MAY ONLY REOPEN AFTER they "establish and impliment a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan". A template for the Preparedness Plan is available at CLICK HERE

PDFMO To May 31

Missouri issued a statewide Stay-At-Home Order effective April 6 - 16. The Order recognizes CISA Guidelines that include hardware stores, building materials, landscape services, and supply chain manufacturers as essential businesses.

***May4: Download a new order: PDFHERE
- Every person and business "shall abide" by social distancing requirements,
- People shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirment homes, or assisted living homes unless providing critical critical assistance or end-of-life care,
- Retailers with <10,000 sq ft of space may open at 25% of capacity,
- Retailers with >10,000 sq ft of space may open at 10% of rated capacity,
- Schools will be closed for remainer of academic year but summer school may prodeede under state guidelines,
- Restauranta may open but must maintain 6' between tables and no table with more than 10 people.

PDFMS To May 25 The Missippi Order recognizes Hardware stores and workers/businesses classified as essential under the Federal CISA Guidelines.

***April 27: (See EO 1463: HERE)
- People who are the most vulnerable are ordered to shelter in place. This includes the elderly and people who have compromised immune systems.
- The order still bans all nonessential gatherings of 10 or more people.
- Business that can practice social distancing and other guidelines set by the health department will be allowed to open.
- Businesses that will remain closed include places of amusement or entertainment like casinos, theaters, bars and museums
- Businesses that cannot avoid social contact like salons, gyms, spas and tattoo parlors remain closed.
- Restaurants will still be limited to drive-through, carry out and delivery.
- Newly-opened stores are asked to reduce capacity by 50 percent and encourage employees to wear masks. Also, those stores should monitor employees for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Evictions are still prohibited.
- Health care professionals will be allowed to conduct some elective procedures as long as they follow the guidelines of the health department.

***May 8: See EO 1480: HERE
- Hair Salons, barber shops and other personal service businesses may reopen with extensive (26 new) rules and requirements mandated by the state,
- Gyms and fitness centers may reopen with 22 new rules and restrictions mandated by the state.

PDFMT TBD The Montana Order References the CISA Guidelines on essential businesses, and recognizes hardware stores and supply chain manufacturers.

***April 30: many retail operations can open with distancing.
***May 4: restaurants and bars can open at half capacity.
***May 7: school districts can decide if they reopen.
Download a copy of the current reopening order: PDFHERE

***Phase 2:No Date Given (See Phased Approcah to Reopening The Big Sky Montana: HERE.)
- Avoid Groups >50,
- Vulnerable populations continue to self isolate,
- Gyms/pools/hot tubs can reopen,
- In addition to churches, other assembly places can reopen under group size restrictions.

***Phase 3: No date Given
- No limit on group size,
- Vulnerable populations reume normal activities.
- Employers resume full staffing,
- Senior Facilities reopen,
- All businesses and places of assembly fully operational.

PDFNC To JUNE 26 The Stay-At-Home Order for North Carolina recognizes the CISA Guidelines, and defines essential businesses as: hardware stores, lawn & garden equipment retailers, landscaping businesses and supply chain manufacturers. NC also acknowledges and permits local jurisdictions to enact even more stringent provisions than the state order if they want. Beware of more stringent local orders.

***May 8: Download a copy of Executive Order #138 / Phase-1 Reopening: HERE.
- Everyone should social distance in public,
- Gatherings >10 people are prohibited,
- High risk individuals should shelter in place,
- Most retail businesses can be open but capacity limited to 50%, social distancing required, mark floors for 6' separation in lines and congested areas, do frequent disinfecting of surfaces, make had washing/sanitation available, do daily worker screening for virus, sendsick workers home, have a plan to isolate sick workers,
- See order for additional guidelines for other businesses,
- Restaurants may remain open for carry-out or delivery only - no dine-in service,
- Bars may not serve alcoholic beverages for onsite consumption,
- Special guidelines are directed for child care and day camps,
- Schools remain closed for current session,
- Personal care (hair and nail salons, barbers, tatoo shop, etc.) remain closed,
- Entertainment facilities without a dining component (bingo parlors, bowling, health clubs, gyms, movie theaters, skating rinks, etc.) remain closed,
- Long-term care facilities shall restrict visitors except for critical care and end-of-life care,
These are minimum requirements and locat jurisdictions may add more stringent rules or restrictions.

***May 20: Enter Phase 2
- Phase 2 lifts the Stay At Home order moving into a Safer At Home recommendation, especially for people at high risk for serious illness,
- Teleworking is also urged when possible,
- Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 will be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. These limits apply to the following: event venues; conference centers; stadiums and sports arenas; amphitheaters; and groups at parks or beaches,
- Some businesses will remain closed in Phase 2 including: bars; night clubs; gyms and indoor fitness facilities; indoor entertainment venues such as movie theaters, and bowling alleys,
- Certain businesses will be open at limited capacity with other requirements and recommendations including: restaurants at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements; personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements; pools at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements. Employees of personal care businesses will be required to wear face coverings,
- Childcare facilities, day camps and overnight camps will be open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements,
- Retail businesses allowed to open in Phase 1 at 50% capacity will continue at that level,
- Public health recommendations are provided for worship services to practice enhanced social distancing and other cleaning and hygiene practices.


No state Stay-At-Home Order has been issued but non-essential businesses are closed. (Download order at left.)

***May 3: Download North Dakota Smart Restart Document: HERE.
Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Distilleries and Food Trucks:
-- Open at 50% capacity, 6 ft between tables, no table >10ppl,
-- Waiting areas spaced at 6 ft, tables sanitized between seatings,
-- Salad bars with employee serving only (no self-serve),
-- No standing in bars and seating 6 ft between groups of 2,
-- Drink refills require new cups, no reusable items like condiments, menus or table electronics without sanitizing between customers,
-- Restaurants must close minimum of 4 hours daily for deep cleaning in Phase-1,
-- Blackjack tables CLOSED,
-- Gaming machines 6 ft apart or placed out of service,
-- Dance floors and use of handheld reservation devices prohibited,
-- Encourage customers to download Care19 app for contact tracing (CELLPHONE TRACKING BY THE GOVERNMENT!!)

Hair Salons, Barbers, Nail Salons, Tanning Studios, Waxing Studios, and Other Cosmetology Related Businesses:
--Physical distancing in service and waiting areas,
-- Employees MUST wear face masks and clients where possible,
-- Limit services that require removal of PPE,
-- Advanced hygiene practices for work stations and equipment,
-- Clients should cover clothing with disposable robe or washable smock,
-- Other special measures are required(see document).

Tattoo and Body Piercing, Massage Therapy, Fitness Centers and Movie Theaters:
--- See special requirements in state document.

PDFNE To May 31

No state Stay-At-Home Order has been issued, but a helath emergency closed restaurants, bars and similar businesses.

***May 15: Governor Ricketts asks:
Throughout May, we are continuing to ask everyone to follow our Six Rules to Keep Nebraska Healthy:
- Stay home. Do not take unnecessary trips outside the home. Respect the ten-person limit.
- Socially distance your work. Work from home or use the six-foot rule as much as possible in the workplace.
- Shop alone and only shop once a week. Do not take family with you.
- Help kids follow social distancing. Play at home. No group sports or playgrounds.
- Help seniors stay at home by shopping for them. Do not visit long-term care facilities.
- Exercise daily at home or with an appropriately socially-distanced activity.

PDFNH To May 31 The New Hampshire Emergency Order references essential businesses as defined in (PDFEXHIBIT A) that lists garden cernters, nurseries, hardware, forest products manufacturing and supply chain manufacturers as essential businesses..

***Stay-At-Home 2.0 is the state's guideline for returning to work. Download a copy:HERE. General guidelines focus on employer health screening of employees before they are admitted to the facilities each day and policies to follow social distancing, personal hygiene, frequent sanitation of the work space, etc.



The New Jersey Order is very short but cites "Hardware and Home Improvement Stores" as essential businesses. While it does not mention the supply chain manufacturers as essential businesses, it also does not exclude them.

New Jersey Executive Order 142 To Reopen Nonessential Construction Sites and Curbside Retail (Download Copy:HERE .)

***May 13:
-- The physical operations of all construction projects that were not designated as essential in Executive Order No. 122 (2020) are permitted to resume, subject to the conditions in paragraph 2 of this Order.

***May 18:
-- Nonessential retail businesses may reopen with curbside order fulfillment only.

PDFNM To May 31 New Mexico updated its SAH Order on April 7. It is very narrow recognizing hardware stores as essential businesses but no other green industry businesses or services.

***May 15: (Read on-line "COVID-SAfe Practices for New Mexico" Plan: HERE)

EXCERPT: Manufacturing, Warehouse & Food Production:
- Follow all Covid-19 state practices for all employers (page 9),
- Adhere to maximum occupancy limits in state guidelines,
- Use signs and decals to prmotesocial distancing at 6ft apart,
- If social distancing is not possible, install a separation barrier between work stations,
- Do daily stringent cleaning and clean shared workstations between shifts,
- Arrange for contactless signatures for deliveries,
- Vendors entering premises must follow employee PPE and social distancing,
- Restrict use of communal dishware and provide single-use items in break rooms.

PDFNY To May 31 In the "New York Pause Order" please reference items 3 and 4 on page 3 that exempts agriculture/farms and hardware and building materials stores. Agriculture & Farms was clarified to include Horticulture in the following document: PDFInterim Guidance Horticulture. On April 9, NY issued PDFGuidance for Determining Whether a Business Is Subject to a Workforce Reduction Under Recent Executive Orders. restricting landscaping to only "maintenance or pest control and not cosmetic purposes". Effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance. 

***May 14: NY EO 202.31:HERE
- Reductions and restrictions on the in-persan workforce at non-essential businesses or other entities shall no longer apply to Phase One industries: Construction, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, Retail- (Liurited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off); Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade,
- Such businesses or entities must be operated subject to the guidance promulgated by the Department of health,
- Only those businesses or entities in a region that meets the prescribed public health and safety metrics, as deten:uined by the Department ofHealth, will be eligible for reopening.
- Drive-in movie theaters shall not be required to close.

PDFNV To May 30 The Nevada Stay-At-Home Order is short but references essential businesses as defined in another NV regulation (PDFNV Emergency Regulations) that lists manufacturing and production businesses and hardware stores as essential.

***May 1:
— All retail businesses, including those previously deemed nonessential, will be allowed to operate under a “curbside commerce model” similar to curbside pickup now allowed for restaurants and eateries. This includes curbside sales for retail marijuana dispensaries, which have been limited to only delivery orders since mid-March
— Places of worship can have drive-up religious services, as long as people stay in their vehicles and maintain social distancing parameters with people who are not part of their household.
— Nevadans can once again play golf, pickleball and tennis “as long as they do it safely and in a way that prevents the spread of COVID-19.”

***May 8: Nevada Roadmap To Recovery: Download this List of Individual Industry Guidance Sheets HERE.
Manditory Guidelines and Recommended Best Practices for:
- Agriculture,
- Applicance and Furniture Showrooms,
- Auto Dealerships,
- Banking and Financial Services,
- Barber Shops and Schools,
- Drive-In Operations,
- Food Establishments,
- General Office Environments,
- Hair Salons,
- Nail Care Salons,
- Real Estate Leasing,
- Retail and Consumer Services,
- Transportation, Couriers and Warehouses.

See Updated Phase-1 Directive 18: HERE.

PDFOH To May 31

Ohio references the CISA Guidelines for essential businesses. It also recognizes hardware stores and supply chain manufacturers and has newly added garden centers and nurseries as essential businesses. Ohio's Order has been extended from April 6 to May 1.

***May 1: Dental visits, veteranarian and surgeries that don't require over night stays,
- Require face coverings for all employees/clients/customers
- Do daily health assessmentsof employees
- Maintain good hygiene at all times (hand washing and social distancing)
- Clean and sanitize work places throughout the day
- Limit capacity if need to do social distancing
- Immediately report an infection to local health district
- Work with health district to identify potentially exposed workers
- Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible.

***May 4: Manufacturing, distribution, and construction can reopen. General offices can reopen but are encouraged to maintain work from home as much as possible,

***May 12: Consumer retail & service.

***May 21: Horse Racing (no spectators) and Campgrounds

***May 26:
- Gyms and fitness centers,
- Sports Leagues (Non-contact or Limited Contact),
- Public/Club pools.

***May 31: Child Care Centers

PDFOK To June 1

Oklahoma has updated its ExecOrder referencing its state "Essential Businesses List" based on NAICS codes including Mfg of forest fibers, Building Materials Retailers, Garden Equipment Retailers, General Merchandise Stores (supercenters) and Misc Retailers. Download a copy of the list: PDFHERE

***April 24, OK issued PDFOpen Up and Recover Safely" Plan
- Personal care businesses open by appointment,
- State Parks and Outdoor Recreation open,
- Retail and other esssential stores open.

***May 1: Phase 1
- Dining, entertainment, movie theaters and sporting venues can operate using CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols,
- Gyms can reopen if they adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols,
- Places of worship can reopen for in-person meetings or worship if they leave every other row or pew open and adhere to CDC-recommended social distancing and sanitation protocols, plus the recommended guidelines from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce as they are published,
- Bars should remain closed,
- Tattoo Parlors can reopen for appointments only and must adhere to sanitation protocols and social distancing protocols for distancing between customers and visitors.

***May 15: Phase 2
- Updates guidance for individuals and businesses once hospital and incident rates remain at a manageable level for 14 more days.

***June 1: Phase 3
- Updates guidance for individuals and businesses once hospital and incident rates remain at a manageable level statewide for 14 more days,
- Phase 3 will apply, which will allow for further public interaction.
- Further details for Phase 3 will be provided once the state enters Phase 2.



The Oregon order was not meant to be easily understood due to numerous cross references in state code and regulations that were not provided; however, it appears hardware stores are not ordered closed under any specific mention. No manufacturing operations are mentioned in the closure order. Stay tuned for updates.
PDFPA RED SDUntil June 4

Pennsylvania issued an updated chart of essential businesses that includes crop production, forestry, ag support, other wood product manufacturing, etc. HOWEVER, PA lists hardware stores as essential businesses but garden and garden equipment supplies stores are specifically classified as non-essential.

***April 15: the PA House & Senate passed legislation rolling back the Governor's Stay-At-Home Orders, but it is expected Governor Wolf will VETO the bills.

***May 8:Governor announces RED, YELLOW and GREEN recovery plan with notheast and orth central countirs designated YELLOW immediately:

Red: The Governor has declared the state in the RED PHASE until June 4.
This is the most restrictive phase, which currently applies to the entire state, and consists of the strictest social-distancing measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. A key metric to get out of this phase would be for an area to have a coronavirus positive-test case rate of 50 per 100,000 residents or fewer over a stretch of 14 days. The restrictions, which have been in place for weeks now, include:

- Non-life sustaining businesses remain closed,
- Schools remain closed (through the end of the academic year),
- Most child care facilities remain closed,
- Large gatherings remain prohibited,
- Restaurants and bars remain limited to takeout and delivery only,
- Stay-at-home order remains in place, with travel only for life-sustaining purposes.


As regions or counties move into this phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease. The purpose of this phase is to begin reopening the economy while keeping the spread of disease contained as much as possible. Restrictions will be adjusted as necessary based on public health indicators.

- Businesses with in-person operations must follow safety orders, as well as CDC/Department of Health guidelines for social distancing and cleaning,
- Working remotely must continue where feasible,
- Child care facilities can open but must follow safety orders, as well as CDC/Department of Health guidelines for social distancing and cleaning,
- Large gatherings of more than 25 people prohibited,
- Restaurants and bars remain limited to takeout and delivery only,
- Indoor recreation, gyms, spas and entertainment facilities (including casinos and theaters) remain closed,
- In-person retail allowed, but curbside and delivery service is preferable,
- Stay-at-home orders lifted.


The green phase eases most remaining restrictions to allow the economy to reopen while continuing to prioritize public health. Public health indicators will continue to be monitored, with restrictions implemented as necessary to ensure the spread of disease remains at a minimum.

- All businesses open, but following CDC/Department of Health guidelines,
- Individuals must follow CDC/Department of Health guidelines,
- Remaining aggressive mitigation orders lifted.

PDFRI To May 8 The Rhode Island Order reduces the permissible gathering of people from 10 to 5. It recognizes hardware stores as essential businesses. Providence closes parks, golf courses and recreation areas.

Reopening RI: Testing the Waters (Get presentation: HERE.)

***Phase 1: Stay Close:
- The stay-at-home order lifts, but we should still aim to stay close to home: limit our networks,
- Everyone who can work from home should continue to work from home,
- Elective medical procedures resume under safety guidelines,
- All Rhode Islanders who have deferred healthcare needs, including immunizations, well visits, or specialty care, are encouraged to reach out to their primary care doctor. Many specialty providers such as orthopedists, neurologists, and cardiologists remain open for telehealth and needed care,
- Some parks open, and public parking is now available,
- Non-critical retailers that were previously closed reopen with capacity restrictions, though preorders are encouraged, and shoppers should limit browsing time,
- Continue ordering delivery and take-out from restaurants,
- Nursing homes, assisted living and other congregate care facilities remain closed to visitors.


South Carolina's order to close non-essential businesses is well defined to include entertainment venues, recreational and athletic facilities, and close contact service provides. If you are not listed, you may continuew business following social distancing rules and guidelines from the CDC. The order is effective April 1 through April 30.

***May 11: Executive Order 2020-34 (Download Copy:HERE. )
- Restaurants may begin limited in-door, on-premises dining.
- Restrictions on the beaching or rafting of boats, whether on a sandbar, lakeshore, riverbank, or island, and the requirement that vessels must remain underway at all times unless exigent circumstances exist are rescinded.


No state Stay-At-Home Order has been issued.
PDFTN To April 30 Tennessee recognizes landscape maintenance, hardware stores and supply chain manufacturers as essential businesses in the state.

***April 27: restaurants can reopen with social distancing (See order 29:PDFHERE ), and
***April 30: retail stores can reopen at 50% capacity.

PDFTX Reopening in Process

Effective April 2 through April 30, Gov. Greg Abbot issued Executive Order GA 14 relating to statewide continuity of essential services and activities during the COVID-19 disaster. The Order recognizes the CISA Guidelines designating workers in Ag, food production, landscaping and retail hardware and building supplies as essential services. 4/17/20 Gov Abbott appoints "Strike Force to Open Texas" with charge to define how businesses can reopen between now and May 1.

***May 4: (Download a copy of Reopening Order:PDFHERE )
- Wear a face mask, wash hands, disinfect surfaces, do not share dishes, glasses, cups or utensils,
- Restaurants, in-store retail, dine-in restaurants, movie theaters, and malls can open at 25% capacity.
- Museuma and libraries may open at 25% capacity but hands-on exhibits remain cllosed,
- For counties with <5 cases of Covid-19, all the above may operate at up to 50% capacity
- Golf courses may reopen,
- Local government operations may resume,
- Bars, gyms, public pools, interactive amusement venues, bowling alleys,video arcades, massage parlors, tattoo studios, piercing studios, and cosmotology salons remain closed,
- The conditions and limitations described above do not apply to essential services/businesses.
For a business-specific (i.e., restaurant, retail, office) reopening checklist, CLICK HERE

***May 8: (Download a copy of Expanded Reopening Order: PDFHERE).
- All of May 4 details apply EXCEPT:
- Hair salons, barber shops, and nail salons may open at 25% of occupancy and social distancing,
- Tanning salons may open w/ social distancing,
- Outdoor pools with social distancing and indoor pools at 25% occupancy,

***May 18: All prior Order details for May 4 and May 8 EXCEPT:
- Services provided by office workers up to 5 ppl or 25% of total work force for offices >5 ppl,
- Manufacturing facilities at 25% of total listed occupancy,
- Gyms and excercise facilities that operate up to 25% of listed occupancy BUT locker rooms, showers are closed but restrooms opened.
- Bars, interactive amusement venues, bowling alleys, video arcades, massage parlors, tattoo studios, piercing studios, sexually oriented businesses, water parks and splash pads remain closed,
- Visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, state supported living centers, and assisted living centers is prohibited unless rendering critical assistance,
- Schools remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year.

***May 21:
-The Governor's new order immediately terminates all restrictions contained in the previous Executive Order (GA-20) that mandated temporary quarantines for air travelers arriving from the following areas of the United States: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; or Miami, Florida.

***May 29:
- Water parks that operate at up to 25 percent of the normal operating limits as determined by the venue owner or, for indoor water parks, at up to 25 percent of the total listed occupancy of the water park; provided, however, that components that have video arcades must remain closed.
- Recreational sports programs for adults; provided, however, that practices may begin, but games and similar competitions may not begin until June 15, 2020
-Food-court dining areas within shopping malls can also immediately resume operations: limiting tables to six individuals; maintaining a six-feet distance between individuals sitting at different tables; cleaning and disinfecting tables between uses; and ensuring no condiments or other items are left on tables between customer uses.

*** June 3:
- All businesses currently operating at 25% capacity can expand their occupancy to 50% with certain exceptions.
- Bars and similar establishments may increase their capacity to 50% as long as patrons are seated.
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with less than 1,000 confirmed positive cases may open at 50% capacity.
- Restaurants may expand their maximum table size from 6 to 10 persons.

*** June 12:
- Restaurants may expand their occupancy levels to 75%.
- Counties with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases may expand their occupancy limits to 75%. Counties that fit this category but have not previously filed an attestation with DSHS will need to do so.

*** June 19:
- Amusement parks and carnivals in counties with more than 1,000 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 may open at 50% capacity.

*** June 25:
- Elective surgeries suspended in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin to protect hospital capacity as case reposrts rise.
- Governor pauses further Phase III reopening of State economy but no roll-back of current status is announnced.

*** June 26: Rollbacks Ordered
- State rolls-back some reopening stages as follows: -- All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages are required to close but may remain open for delivery and take-out, including for alcoholic beverages.
-- Restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50% of total listed indoor occupancy, beginning Monday, June 29, 2020.
-- Rafting and tubing businesses must close.
-- Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions.

***July 3: - Governor mandates masks to be worn over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household; provided, however,that this face-covering requirement does not apply to the following:
1. any person younger than 10 years of age;
2. any person with a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;
3. any person while the person is consuming food or drink, or is seated at a restaurant to eat or drink;
4. any person while the person is (a) exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors, and (b) maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household; br> 5. any person while the person is driving alone or with passengers who are part of the same household as the driver;
6. any person obtaining a service that requires temporary removal of the face covering for security surveillance, screening, or a need for specific access to the face, such as while visiting a bank or while obtaining a personalcare service involving the face, but only to the extent necessary for the temporary removal;
7. any person while the person is in a swimming pool, lake, or similar body of water;
8. any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poli watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
9. any person who is actively providing or obtaining access to religious worship, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged;
10. any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience.

Not excepted from this face-covering requirement is any person attending a protest or demonstration involving more than 10 people and who is not practicing safe social distancing of six feet from other people not in the same household.

PDFUT To May 1

Utah's latest order closes dine-in restaurants from April 1-15, 2020. No order was found that impacts the Mulch & Soil Industry.

***May 1: Governor declares state under Orange (Medium) risk for Covid-19.

***May 15: Governor moves the state to Yellow (Low) risk status for Covid-19.

PDFVA To June 10 Virginia recognizes hardware stores and lawn & garden equipment retailers.
PDFVT To May 15

The Vermont Agency for Commerce and Community Development issued a PDFMEMO of clarification. to mass merchants, "Box" stores and other large retailers to cease in-person sales of non-essential products like arts and craft supplies, clothing, carpet & flooring, consumer electronics and ***HOME & GARDEN*** products. On-line and phone-in orders of non-essential products filled curb-side without person-to-person interface are allowed. Effective 4/20: Those who exclusively or largely work outdoors (such as forestry, landscaping, tree work, parks maintenance, delivery work, etc.) may resume operations with a maximum of 2 total workers per location/job.

***April 27:
Resumption of in-person shopping at outdoor retail operations, such as garden centers and greenhouses offering mulch, stone, plant, tree, seed sales; provided, however, these operations shall not permit any more than a maximum of 10 total people including customers and staff. Outdoor retail operations shall take steps to schedule or stage customer visits, such as waiting in cars until ready, to ensure no congregation. (see revised order:PDFHERE)

PDF WA To May 31 The Washington Order includes a sub-order (PDF Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers) list naming the essential business operation. The sub-order appears to be a modified version of the CISA Guidelines and recognizes hardware stores and garden centers and nurseries (that support food cultivation and production) as essential businesses.

***May 4 - Safe Start Washington / Download copy: HERE
-PHASE 1: Essential businesses, existing construction, landscaping, auto/boat/RV sales, Retail (curbside pickup orders ONLY), car washes and dog walkers.
-Phase 2: Remaining manufacturing,additional construction, in-home services, retail (in-store purchases with restrictions), real estate, professional servcies, personal services, pet grooming, restaurants dine-in at 50% capacity w/table size no more than 5.
- Phase 3: Restaurants & Taverns at 75% capacity, Bar areas in restaurants/tacerns at <25% capacity, movie theaters at 50% capacity,libraries, museums, all other business activities except nitclubs and events.50ppl.
-Phase 4: Nightclubs, concert venues, large sporting events and other unrestricted businesses.

PDFWI To May 26 Wisconsin recognizes the CISA Guidelines for essential businesses and hardware stores. Suppliers to essential businesses are arguably included in paragraph 13(r) on page 13.



The West Virginia Order recognizes the CISA Guidelines on page 4 and identifies hardware and supply stores as essential businesses on page 8 and supply chain manufacturers and distributors on page 9.

Federal Program Guidelines and Instructions

PDFCISA Gudielines

This is a copy of the updated (version 3.0, April 17) Department of Homeland Security: Cybersecurity Infrastructure Safety Administration (CISA) Guidelines for essential businesses during a national emergency. The updated version (March 28) includes hardware, Ag and landscape workers.

PDF8 Ways

This is an excellent article on "8 Ways Business Owners Can Take Advantage of the Federal Stimulous Package"

PDFPPP Fact Sheet and Application Link

This is a very simple explanation of the Paycheck Protection Program for employers <500 to access a forgivable cash loan for 2.5 times your monthly payroll cost as an incentive to keep employees on your payroll for up to 26 weeks. Check this important Federal opportunity.

PDFPPP Loan Forgiveness FAQs

Here are Treasury Department answers to Frequently Asked Questions for the Paycheck Protection Program as of Agugust 4, 2020

PDFFamily & Sick Leave FAQ

This is a guideline and FAQ for the provisions for Emergency Paid Sick Leaveand Emergency Paid Family Leave enacted under the Families First Coronavirus Response ACT (H.R.6201).

PDFGuide to CARES Act

This document provides valuble information on programs designed to provide capital to cover the cost of retaining employees under the Paycheck Protection Program; a means for a quick infusion of a smaller cash support under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant; information on easing payments on existing SBA loans under the Small Business Debt Relief Program; and more.

PDFU.S. Chamber

This is an excellent guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Coronovirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide and Checklist.

PDFIRS Tax Extension

This document details who is qualified for delayed tax filing to July 15, 2020.

PDFCDC/CISA Workplace Exposure Guide

This CDC/CISA document is a 1-page guideline on "Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19".
PDFOpen America Plan
This is a copy of the White House plan to Open Up America Again.

Industry Information & Documents

PDFCSPMA Press Release

Press Release from the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association on COVID-19.

PDFGrowing Media Europe PR

Press Release from Growing Media Europe


This is a copy of the MSC petition to the State of Vermont requesting reclassification of soils, mulches and related garden products for greenhouse and home vegetable garden food production. Download a Word version:PDFHERE.


This is a copy of the letter sent to the Michigan Governor's Office requesting amendment of Executive Order 2020-42 to reclassify Garden and Plant Nurseries as essential businesses and products based on their function in greenhouse and home food crop production. Download a Word version: PDFHERE.