Governor’s stay-at-home order has Villagers wondering what it means

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stay-at-home order has Villagers wondering what’s “essential” in the strange upside-down world that is reality in the Coronavirus crisis.

COVID-19 has steadily chipped away at “The Villages Lifestyle,” depriving residents of in-restaurant dining, swimming pools, music at the town squares and dog parks.

The governor’s sudden about-face with Wednesday’s stay-at-home order triggered another round of rushing to the grocery stores to stock up on whatever is left to purchase.

Residents gather at Live Oak Park in The Villages

Residents gather Wednesday at Lake Sumter Landing.

You can read the governor’s executive order at this link: Gov. DeSantis Stay at Home Order

With Panera, Starbucks, swimming pools, bunco and dog parks no longer centers of gossip in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, residents armed with coffee cups have pulled up chairs in parks and at town squares. The evenings have seen a rise in driveway cocktail parties. It is not known how those gatherings will be treated in the latest version of the “new normal.”

The order goes into effect at midnight Thursday, April 2.

So what’s still sanctioned?

• Trips to the grocery store or pharmacy

• Golf (one person or married couple to a cart)

• Walking, jogging and bicycling

• Tending to the need of your pets

There is also a long list of “essential” jobs:

Healthcare/public health

• Workers who perform critical clinical research, development, and testing needed for COVID-19 response.

• Healthcare providers and Caregivers including physicians, dentists, psychologists, mid-level practitioners, nurses and assistants, infection control and quality assurance personnel, pharmacists, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, social workers, optometrists, speech pathologists, chiropractors, and diagnostic and therapeutic technicians and technologists.

• Hospital and laboratory personnel (including accounting, administrative, admitting and discharge, engineering, epidemiological, source plasma and blood donation, food service, housekeeping, medical records, information technology and operational technology, nutritionists, sanitarians, respiratory therapists, etc.).

• Workers in other medical and biomedical facilities (including Ambulatory Health and Surgical, Blood Banks, Clinics, Community Mental Health, Comprehensive Outpatient rehabilitation, End Stage Renal Disease, Health Departments, Home Health care, Hospices, Hospitals, Long Term Care, Nursing Care Facilities, Organ Pharmacies, Procurement Organizations, Psychiatric Residential, Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified HealthCenters, and retail facilities specializing in medical good and supplies).

• Manufacturer workers for health manufacturing (including biotechnology companies), materials and parts suppliers, logistics and warehouse operators, distributors of medical equipment (including those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.

• Public health / community health workers, including those who compile, model, analyze and communicate public health information.

• Blood and plasma donors and the employees of the organizations that operate and manage related activities.

• Workers who manage health plans, billing, and health information, who cannot practically work remotely.

• Workers who conduct community-based public health functions, conducting epidemiologic surveillance, compiling, analyzing and communicating public health information, who cannot practically work remotely.

• Workers performing information technology and cybersecurity functions at healthcare and public health facilities, who cannot practically work remotely.

• Workers performing security, incident management, and emergency operations functions at or on behalf of healthcare entities including healthcare coalitions, who cannot practically work remotely.

• Pharmacy employees necessary to maintain uninterrupted prescription filling.

• Workers performing mortuary funeral, cremation, burial, cemetery, and related services, including funeral homes, crematoriums, cemetery workers, and coffin makers.

• Workers who coordinate with other organizations to ensure the proper recovery, handling, identification, transportation, tracking, storage, and disposal of human remains and personal effects; certify cause of death; and facilitate access to mental/behavioral health services to the family members, responders, and survivors of an incident.

Law enforcement, public safety and first responders

• Public, private, and voluntary personnel (front line and management) in emergency management, law enforcement, fire and rescue services, emergency medical services, and private security, to include public and private hazardous material responders, air medical service providers (pilots and supporting technicians), corrections, and search and rescue personnel.

• 911 call center employees and Public Safety Answering Points who can’t perform their duties remotely.

• Fusion Center employees.

• Workers – including contracted vendors — who maintain, manufacture, or supply equipment and services supporting law enforcement emergency service and response operations (to include electronic security and life safety security personnel).

• Workers supporting the manufacturing of safety equipment and uniforms for law enforcement, public safety personnel, and first responder.

• Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges.

• Public agency workers responding to abuse and neglect of children, elders, and dependent adults.

• Workers who support weather disaster / natural hazard mitigation and prevention activities.

• Security staff to maintain building access control and physical security measures.

Food and agriculture

• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail (including unattended and vending) that sells human food, animal/pet food and pet supply, and beverage products, including retail customer support service and information technology support staff necessary for online orders, pickup and delivery.

• Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations, including dark kitchen and food prep centers, and carryout and delivery food employees.

• Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food ingredient production and processing facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging.

• Farmers, farm workers, and agribusiness support services to include those employed in auction and sales: grain and oilseed handling, processing and distribution; animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically and for export.

• Farmers, farm workers, support service workers, and their supplier employees to include those engaged in producing and harvesting field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; biodiesel and renewable diesel facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs.

• Employees and firms supporting the distribution of food, feed, and beverage and ingredients used in these products, including warehouse workers, vendor- managed inventory controllers and block chain managers.

• Workers supporting the sanitation and pest control of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail.

• Employees in cafeterias used to feed employees, particularly employee populations sheltered against COVID-19.

• Workers in animal diagnostic and food testing laboratories in private industries and in institutions of higher education.

• Government, private, and non-governmental organizations’ workers essential for food assistance programs (including school lunch programs) and government payments.

• Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including seeds, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids.

• Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health (including those involved in supporting emergency veterinary or livestock services); raising of animals for food; animal production operations; livestock markets; slaughter and packing plants, manufacturers, renderers, and associated regulatory and government workforce.

• Transportation supporting animal agricultural industries, including movement of animal medical and reproductive supplies and materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, live animals, animal by-products, and deceased animals for disposal.

• Workers who support sawmills and the manufacture and distribution of fiber and forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood and fiber products.

• Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary for agricultural production and distribution.

Energy

• Workers supporting the energy sector, regardless of the energy source (including but not limited to nuclear, fossil, hydroelectric, or renewable), segment of the system, or infrastructure the worker is involved in, or who are needed to monitor, operate, engineer, and maintain the reliability, safety, environmental health, and physical and cyber security of the energy system.

• Energy/commodity trading/scheduling/marketing functions, who can’t perform their duties remotely.

• IT and OT technology for essential energy sector operations including support workers, customer service operations; energy management systems, control systems, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition SCADA systems, and energy sector entity data centers; cybersecurity engineers; and cybersecurity risk management.

• Workers supporting the energy sector through renewable energy infrastructure (including, but not limited to wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen, ocean, geothermal, and/or hydroelectric), including those supporting construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, monitoring, and logistics.

• Workers and security staff involved in nuclear re-fueling operations.

• Providing services related to energy sector fuels (including, but not limited, petroleum (crude oil), natural gas, propane, natural gas liquids, other liquid fuels, nuclear, and coal), supporting the mining, processing, manufacturing, construction, logistics, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, security, waste disposal and storage, and monitoring of support for resources.

• Environmental remediation/monitoring, limited to immediate critical needs technicians.

• Manufacturing and distribution of equipment, supplies, and parts necessary to maintain production, maintenance, restoration, and service at energy sector facilities (across all energy sector segments).

Electricity industry

• Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore, or are involved in the development, transportation, fuel procurement, expansion, or operation of the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, engineers, retail electricity, constraint maintenance, and fleet maintenance technicians who cannot perform their duties remotely.

• Workers at coal mines, production facilities, and those involved in manufacturing, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance and monitoring at coal sites which is critical to ensuring the reliability of the electrical system.

• Workers who produce, process, ship and handle coal used for power generation and manufacturing.

• Workers needed for safe and secure operations at nuclear generation to include but not limited to, the broader nuclear supply chain, parts to maintain nuclear equipment, fuel manufacturers and fuel components used in the manufacturing of fuel.

• Workers at renewable energy infrastructure (including, but not limited to wind, solar, biomass, hydrogen, geothermal, and/or hydroelectric), including those supporting construction, manufacturing, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, monitoring, and logistics.

• Workers at generation, transmission, and electric black start facilities.

• Workers at Reliability Coordinator, Balancing Authorities, and primary and backup Control Centers, including but not limited to independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, and local distribution control centers.

• Mutual assistance personnel which may include workers from outside of the state or local jurisdiction.

• Vegetation management and traffic control for supporting those crews.

• Environmental remediation/monitoring workers limited to immediate critical needs technicians.

• Instrumentation, protection, and control technicians.

• Essential support personnel for electricity operations.

• Generator set support workers such as diesel engineers used in power generation including those providing fuel. Petroleum industry:

• Workers for onshore and offshore petroleum drilling operations; platform and drilling construction and maintenance; transportation (including helicopter operations), maritime transportation, supply, and dredging operations; maritime navigation; well stimulation, intervention, monitoring, automation and control, extraction, production; processing; waste disposal, and maintenance, construction, and operations.

• Workers for crude oil, petroleum and petroleum product storage and transportation, including pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, storage facilities and racks and road transport for use as end use fuels such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and heating fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing.

• Petroleum and petroleum product security operations center employees and workers who support maintenance and emergency response services.

• Petroleum and petroleum product operations control rooms/centers and refinery facilities.

• Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them.

• Supporting new and existing construction projects, including, but not limited to, pipeline construction. Natural Gas, Natural Gas Liquids (NGL), Propane, and other liquid fuels

• Workers who support onshore and offshore drilling operations, platform and drilling construction and maintenance; transportation (including helicopter operations); maritime transportation, supply, and dredging operations; maritime navigation; natural gas and natural gas liquid production, processing, extraction, storage and transportation; well intervention, monitoring, automation and control; waste disposal, and maintenance, construction, and operations.

• Transmission and distribution pipeline workers, including compressor stations and any other required, operations maintenance, construction, and support for natural gas, natural gas liquid, propane, and other liquid fuels.

• Natural gas, propane, natural gas liquids, and other liquid fuel processing plants, including construction, maintenance, and support operations.

• Natural gas processing plants workers, and those that deal with natural gas liquids.

• Workers who staff natural gas, propane, natural gas liquids, and other liquid fuel security operations centers, operations dispatch and control rooms/centers, and emergency response and customer emergencies (including leak calls)operations. • Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feed stocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation.

• Dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls.

• Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers.

• Propane, natural gas liquids, and other liquid fuel distribution centers.

• Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers.

• Supporting new and existing construction projects, including, but not limited to, pipeline construction.

• Ethanol and biofuel production, refining, and distribution.

• Workers in fuel sectors (including, but not limited to nuclear, coal, and gas types and liquid fuels) supporting the mining, manufacturing, logistics, transportation, permitting, operation/maintenance, and monitoring of support for resources.

Water and wastewater

Employees needed to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure, including:

• Operational staff at water authorities.

• Operational staff at community water systems.

• Operational staff at wastewater treatment facilities.

• Workers repairing water and wastewater conveyances and performing required sampling or monitoring, including field staff.

• Operational staff for water distribution and testing.

• Operational staff at wastewater collection facilities.

• Operational staff and technical support for SCADA Control systems.

• Chemical and equipment suppliers to water and wastewater systems and personnel protection.

• Workers who maintain digital systems infrastructure supporting water and wastewater operations.

Transportation and logistics

• Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).

• Workers supporting the distribution of food, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs) and other medical materials, fuels, chemicals needed for water or water treatment and energy Maintenance and operation of essential highway infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and tunnels (e.g., traffic operations centers and moveable bridge operators).

• Employees of firms providing services, supplies, and equipment that enable warehouse and operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use. Includes cold- and frozen-chain logistics for food and critical biologic products.

• Mass transit workers and providing critical transit services and/or performing critical or routine maintenance to mass transit infrastructure or equipment.

• Employees supporting personal and commercial transportation services – including taxis, delivery services, vehicle rental services, bicycle maintenance and car-sharing services, and transportation network providers.

• Workers responsible for operating and dispatching passenger, commuter and freight trains and maintaining rail infrastructure and equipment.

• Maritime transportation workers, including dredgers, port workers, mariners, ship crewmembers, ship pilots and tugboat operators, equipment operators (to include maintenance and repair, and maritime-specific medical ship supply, chandler, and repair companies.

• Workers including truck drivers, railroad employees and contractors, maintenance crew, and cleaners supporting transportation of chemicals, hazardous, medical, and waste materials to support critical infrastructure, capabilities, functions, and services, including specialized carriers, crane and rigging industry workers.

• Bus drivers and workers who provide or support intercity, commuter and charter bus service in support of other essential services or functions.

• Automotive repair, maintenance, and transportation equipment manufacturing and distribution facilities (including those who repair and maintain electric vehicle charging stations).

• Transportation safety inspectors, including hazardous material inspectors and accident investigator inspectors.

• Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations.

• Postal, parcel, courier, last-mile delivery, and shipping and related workers, to include private companies.

• Employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels, bicycles, and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.

• Air transportation employees, including air traffic controllers and maintenance personnel, ramp workers, aviation and aerospace safety, security, and operations personnel and accident investigations.

• Workers who support the operation, distribution, maintenance, and sanitation, of air transportation for cargo and passengers, including flight crews, maintenance, airport operations, those responsible for cleaning and disinfection, and other on- and off- airport facilities workers.

• Workers supporting transportation via inland waterways such as barge crew, dredging, river port workers for essential goods.

• Workers critical to rental and leasing of vehicles and equipment that facilitate continuity of operations for essential work forces and other essential travel.

• Warehouse operators, including vendors and support personnel critical for business continuity (including HVAC & electrical engineers; security personnel; and janitorial staff) and customer service for essential functions.

Public works and infrastructure support services

• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues.

• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.

• Workers who support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of and access to needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications.

• Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste, including landfill operations.

• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees.

• Workers who support the inspection and maintenance of aids to navigation, and other government provided services that ensure continued maritime commerce.

More Headlines

Another inmate at state prison in Bushnell tests positive for Coronavirus

COVID-19 continues to be an issue for the state prison in Bushnell, where another inmate has tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.

Those with chronic health conditions face increased dangers from COVID-19

If you have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a chronic or underlying health condition, you are at a higher risk for more severe illness if you contract COVID-19.

Photos

Cloudy Day At Lake Sumter Landing

Check out this photo of a pink sky on a cloudy day over RJ Gators at Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Carol Hannon for...

Glossy Ibis Takes On Banded Water Snake

Check out this amazing shot of a glossy ibis taking on a banded water snake at a pond in Fenney. Thanks to Sam Boatman...

Early Morning View Of Lake Sumter Landing

Check out this early morning view of Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Ron Clark for sharing his photo! Share your local photos with us at...

Letters to the Editor

Neighbor removes decorative turtle rather than fight The Villages

A Village of Lake Deaton resident, in a Letter to the Editor, describes how a troll reported a decorative turtle in his neighbor’s yard.

Business

Pier 1 Imports announces plan to close all 540 stores amid COVID-19 crisis

Another popular business in The Villages is calling it quits as the nation continues to wrestle with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Crime

Woman jailed after abusing 911 during bad breakup with boyfriend

An Oxford woman was jailed after allegedly abusing 911 during a bad breakup with her boyfriend.

Opinions

Phyllis George blazed a trail for women

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks back on the life of Phyllis George, a former Miss America who became a trailblazer for women.

Top Stories

Food temperature violations and hand-washing problems found at Red Sauce

A health inspector found food temperature violations and hand-washing problems earlier this month at Red Sauce in The Villages.

Another inmate at state prison in Bushnell tests positive for Coronavirus

COVID-19 continues to be an issue for the state prison in Bushnell, where another inmate has tested positive for the potentially deadly virus.

Those with chronic health conditions face increased dangers from COVID-19

If you have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a chronic or underlying health condition, you are at a higher risk for more severe illness if you contract COVID-19.

Letters to the Editor

Neighbor removes decorative turtle rather than fight The Villages

A Village of Lake Deaton resident, in a Letter to the Editor, describes how a troll reported a decorative turtle in his neighbor’s yard.

Citrus thieves!

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of De La Vista East resident describes the theft of citrus from her home.

We could stop the trolls

A Village of Tall Trees resident, in a Letter to the Editor, offers an idea for stopping the trolls.

Crime

Woman jailed after abusing 911 during bad breakup with boyfriend

An Oxford woman was jailed after allegedly abusing 911 during a bad breakup with her boyfriend.

Summerfield man and Ocala guy pal jailed after caught in stolen pickup truck

A Summerfield man with a history of local arrests and his Ocala man friend were jailed Thursday after they were caught in a vehicle that had been reported stolen.

Haciendas of Mission Hills woman gets break in shoplifting case

A Village of Haciendas of Mission Hills woman is poised to escape prosecution in a shoplifting case.