LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Starting Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order for all nonessential employees in Michigan will go into affect in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help hospitals manage the number of severe cases.

Many are wondering: Who is considered an essential employee? Should my business stay open or do I need to stay at home?

Whitmer’s order, which was announced Monday morning, states that “workers who are necessary to sustain or protect life are defined as critical infrastructure workers” by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. A full breakdown of who is included as a critical infrastructure worker can be found here at

Here is an abbreviated breakdown of those critical infrastructure workers and their respective sectors:

  • Health care, public health
  • Law enforcement and first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications, information technology and news media
  • Community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains/safety
  • Defense industrial base 
  • Child care (licensed or unlicensed workers who have arragned to care for kids/dependents of critical infrastructure workers) 
  • Suppliers/distribution centers/service providers
  • Businesses/operations employing critical infrastructure workers needed to support or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers
  • Insurance industry
  • Critical labor union function positions
  • Workers/volunteers in the religious or private sector who provide food shelter and life necessities for the needy or economically needy or those with disabilities

Employees or businesses with questions should consult full details on the governor’s stay-at-home order, which is posted at

If you think your place of employment is violating the order, reach out to the governor’s office at 517.335.7858, not your local police.