Why Some Illinoisans Are Allowed to Work & Others Are Not During Stay-at-Home Order

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NBC 5 received a large number of emails and tips from viewers asking why some occupations are allowed to stay on the job while others must observe Illinois’ stay-at-home' order. But there is a reason why construction workers and landscapers are still showing up to work: the state considers them essential.

Plumbers like Gary Larsen can keep showing up to job sites during the stay-at-home order. Larsen said if a drain is backing up, that’s not good for a house or someone's health.

“Water leaking causes damage to the house and prolonged exposure to that is gonna cause more damage,” Larsen said. “So we need to get this stuff taken care of as soon as possible.”

The state said trades that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences are also considered essential.

NBC 5 spoke to tree-trimming business owner Hector Gomez, who said his crew may be called to remove dangerous tree limbs.

“What’s essential? I mean, I gotta put food on the table for my family,” Gomez said.

If you see a sporting goods story open, for example, that could be because it sells guns.  The state said retailers that sell items for the purpose of safety and security are essential.

The state also considers office supply stores essential because those businesses provide supplies to shipping businesses and to people who work from home.

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