Oak Park "Shelter in Place":
Food Manufacturing is Essential & Exempt
Earlier today, the Village of Oak Park declared a state of emergency and issued a public order requiring residents to shelter in place beginning on Friday, March 20 until Friday, April 3. Oak Park is the first community in Illinois to declare a “shelter in place” policy but others are expected soon.

The order includes a list of “essential businesses” that may continue operating. Persons may only leave their residences for essential activities, essential government functions, or to operate essential businesses which are defined as:

  1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
  2. Grocery stores, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
  3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
  4. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
  5. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
  6. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
  7. Banks and related financial institutions;
  8. Hardware stores;
  9. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
  10. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
  11. Educational institutions-including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities-for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
  12. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
  13. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
  14. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  15. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
  16. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
  17. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  18. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  19. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  20. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities; and
  21. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.

The IMA just spoke with Oak Park’s Village Attorney who noted that “ yes, food manufacturing is essential under the Order and is exempt ." It is a business that supplies “other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate.” The Village's Public Health Department strongly asks residents and businesses to practice social distancing, washing hands often, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, individuals staying away from others if they become sick and staying home as much as possible. 
Mark Denzler
President & CEO
Illinois Manufacturers' Association