Governor Charlie Baker ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses by 12 p.m. Tuesday, ratcheting up the state’s response to a rising number of COVID-19 cases and at least nine deaths from the disease.

The list of businesses and workforces designated as essential during the pandemic is nine pages long, citing more than 150 categories that “shall continue to operate brick and mortar facilities during this two-week time period.”

There are more than 3.5 million people employed in Massachusetts. Alan Clayton-Matthews, a labor economist at Northeastern University, estimates that more than a third — about 1.5 million workers — are likely deemed essential and working outside the home, based on data accessed from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Clayton-Matthews said another 1.2 million essential workers are probably telecommuting.

“This list the Governor released includes a lot of jobs that are not directly essential except that they are related to the supply chain for health and hospitals and social services and transportation,” he said. “You realize, and the Governor’s branch was realizing, who is essential to get through this coronavirus. Well, most workers are actually essential."

There are more 3.7 million people employed in Massachusetts in total, according to the State Labor Market Information database.

The biggest category are the 647,200 people working in healthcare and social services. Also deemed essential are information technology and financial services, which employ more than 500,000 people.

Grocery stores and businesses that serve that industry are also exempted from the shutdown order along with pharmacies, gas stations, and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Others essential workers include:

  • Law enforcement and Department of Correction personnel, 911 call center employees and hazardous material responders in both the government and private sector;
  • Farm workers, those supporting the seafood industry and food manufacturing employees;
  • Workers at nuclear energy plants;
  • People who “maintain, ensure, or restore the reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power.” That includes those who work in call centers, utility workers, engineers and fleet maintenance technicians;
  • Petroleum workers that deal with a range of issues including “product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport [and] road transportation”;
  • Natural gas and propane workers at compressor stations and processing plants;
  • Operational staff at water and authorities and wastewater treatment facilities;
  • And, public works employees and contracted vendors who support the operation of critical infrastructure like roads and highways, sewer, water, natural gas, solid waste removal and other operations.

For the full list, see the document embedded below.

State health officials are also advising the state’s 6.9 million residents to stay at home while Baker tightened restrictions on public gatherings to no more than ten people.

“Taking this action now we can significantly improve our position in this fight to slow the spread of this virus," Baker said Monday. "Acting now to prevent more person-to-person interaction and spreading the virus will buy us more time so our health care system can prepare for a challenge unlike any they've seen before.”

COVID-19 cases rose by 20 percent in one day, going from 646 over the weekend to 777 as of Monday afternoon, with 79 people hospitalized and every county and every age group affected by the outbreak.

Baker’s order to close down nonessential businesses falls in line with action taken by 12 other states including California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Baker’s order will remain in effect until noon on April 7 and encourages businesses and their workers to continue to operate remotely.

The governor’s action stops short of a "shelter-in-place" order that would mandate people stay indoors.

"I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end. It's doesn't make sense from a public health point of view, and it's not realistic," Baker said.

Baker’s order does not prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people in an outdoor space such as a park or athletic field.

Massachusetts list of essential workers.