Essential vs Nonessential Services and Sectors

There is some confusion regarding what an essential or nonessential business is. If a business is serving the public with essential products or services that fulfill public needs as opposed to wants, it is essential. However, even in a business that is serving public needs, drastic operational measures must be implemented to ensure social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. All essential industries must still practice social distancing and continue the proper protocol as dictated by CDC guidelines.

Governor Sisolak’s statement specifically referenced pharmacies, grocery stores, drug and convenience stores, banks and financial institutions, hardware stores and gas stations as among the essential businesses that will remain open. If a business directly or indirectly impacts these businesses, then it is essential.

As previously mentioned, it is critically important to drastically reduce the exposure rate of COVID-19 to mitigate the outbreak that will burden our healthcare infrastructure. We are dealing with a world public health crisis and must strictly practice social distancing and hygienic protocol. This goes for individuals, essential businesses, and beyond.

This situation has elevated to a level of concern where the Governor is taking drastic measures to protect all Nevadans. Other public leaders across the United States are recommending similar actions. We all must make difficult decisions and heed his direction at this time.

A more comprehensive list has been released by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Here is the “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce.

See below for an overview of essential and nonessential services.


According to Nevada Health Response, the following constitute essential services:

*Note: all essential services must continue practicing CDC guidelines of social distancing and protocol

  • Fire services, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services & public safety agencies
  • Healthcare services
  • Businesses or organizations that provide food, shelter, or critical social services for disadvantaged populations
  • Utilities as defined in NRS Chapter 704
  • Trash collection
  • Home maintenance/repair services
    • Industry notice: Residential construction is also considered essential
  • Auto repair services & trucking service centers
  • Grocery stores, supermarkets, hardware stores, convenience & discount stores
  • Pharmacies, healthcare operations, & biomedical facilities
  • Post offices & shipping outlets
  • Gas stations & truck stops
  • Banks & financial institutions
  • Veterinary services & pet stores
  • Laundromats & dry cleaners
  • Food processing
  • Agriculture, livestock & feed mills
  • Logistics & Supply Chain Operations: Warehousing, storage, distribution, and supply-chain related operations
  • Public transportation
  • Essential stays in hotels, commercial lodging, dormitories, shelters, and homeless encampments
  • Child care centers and daycares operating in accordance with requirements set forth by their licensing authorities and COVID-19 guidance
  • Air transportation
  • Mining, construction and manufacturing
    • Non-food-related manufacturing can remain operational


Please note that other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services, are encouraged to have employees work remotely or telecommute.


The following are nonessential services as laid out by Nevada Health Response:

  • Entertainment & hospitality, including but not limited to strip clubs and brothels, casinos, concert venues, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, large conference rooms, meeting halls, and cafeterias
  • Recreation and athletic facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers, gyms, health clubs, fitness centers, yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • Beauty and personal care services and facilities, including but not limited to barber shops, beauty, tanning, waxing hair salons, and nail salons and spas
  • Retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other health care facilities within retail operations. Retailers are encouraged to continue online operations with pickup and delivery.

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