Minnesota and Vermont Just Classified Grocery Clerks as Emergency Workers

As the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic closes schools across the country, more and more parents are juggling working from home with caring full-time for their children. But working from home isn’t possible for emergency personnel like paramedics, nurses, and public health workers who are on the front lines of the fight against the virus. Some states and cities are providing child care for emergency workers so they can do their jobs.

Minnesota and Vermont have now officially designated another group of workers as emergency personnel: grocery clerks. This means the workers hurrying to stock shelves and check out customers in those states will also receive free child care.

The directive from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz came as part of an order for “Care for Children of Families of Emergency Workers,” which instructs closed schools to continue to provide care for children of emergency personnel who are “critical to the response of COVID-19.” Under the order, grocery workers are considered “essential tier 2 workers.” “Districts should make every effort to provide care for school-age children” of these workers, the order states. (People caring for the children of emergency personnel are also considered emergency personnel.)

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