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Do You Need Documentation to Travel for Essential Business?

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CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION: Late on Tuesday evening, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation sent a press release regarding the Governor’s Stay at Home order. This was included in the release:

“Employees of essential businesses are not required to provide any documentation. Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work, traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk.”

The COVID-19 situation is a fluid one. Hoosier Ag Today apologizes for any confusion. You can read the rest of IEDC’s press release below.

Governor Eric Holcomb’s “Stay at Home” executive order signed Monday does have some exceptions, including those involved in the essential business of agriculture. That has led many to ask, “am I considered essential?”

Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, says there is now a hotline that can help answer some of those questions for businesses. The hotline is open from 9am to 6pm at (877) 820-0890. Businesses can also email covidresponse@iedc.in.gov with questions.

Another question: do I need any type of document from my employer to be traveling?

“At this time, the state does not issue letters for essential workers, because law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work or traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk,” Kettler said.

Kettler wanted to reassure the farm and ag community that during this difficult time and while these difficult decisions are being made, they’re still hard at work to advocate for Indiana agriculture, albeit teleworking.

“We know that there will continue to be questions and we’re more than glad to help with that.”

Below is a press release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation regarding the governor’s executive order:

This Executive Order mandates Hoosiers remain in their homes except when they are at work or for permitted activities, such as taking care of others, obtaining necessary supplies, and for health and safety. The order is in effect from March 25 to April 7.

We urge businesses, employees and the general public to please review the details and resources provided below:

  • If you’re an employee, please check with the leadership of your company for any additional information regarding whether they qualify as an essential or non-essential business.
  • If you are a business/employer please review Gov. Holcomb’s Executive Order here, which outlines essential functions. Essential businesses are outlined beginning on page 5.
  • If you have general questions regarding the Executive Order, view the FAQ page here.
  • We understand that while the Executive Order highlights a wide variety of businesses, it does not address every type of business or industry. We encourage businesses to review the Executive Order and to consider if their service or product meets the basic threshold of an essential business, which:
    • Contributes to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and essential businesses deemed essential in the Executive Order.
    • The primary purpose of the Governor’s Executive Order is to protect Hoosiers and request they remain at home to combat the spread of COVID-19. While not every service or business is explicitly outlined, we recommend businesses take a “common sense” approach to determining if your business contributes to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences and businesses deemed essential.
  • Employees of essential businesses are not required to provide any documentation. Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work, traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk.
  • For non-essential businesses and Hoosiers impacted by this ongoing public health emergency, we encourage you to visit iedc.in.gov/response to explore resources available to you.

General questions from the public or healthcare provider inquiries about COVID-19 may be directed to the ISDH COVID-19 Call Center at the toll-free number 877-826-0011 (available 24/7) or email epiresource@isdh.in.gov.