Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Johnson County Mayor Explains Bottom Line amidst pandemic


Residents of Johnson County are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.


Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
Care for or support a friend or family member
Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others. 
Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
Help someone to get necessary supplies
Receive deliveries from any business which delivers


Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

Why is this happening now?

This Johnson County Mayor’s Emergency Order is being issued now because it is urgent that we slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 in Johnson County.

The virus spreads easily, and this Order is also intended to prevent the disease from overwhelming our health care system. The goal here is to “flatten the curve” to slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we have adequate health care resources for those who get sick with COVID-19 and those who need emergency medical care for accidents, heart attacks, strokes, and other routine medical conditions.

What is the difference between “Safer at Home” and “social distancing”?

Safer at home is a stricter form of social distancing. There are some differences. Safer at home means:

Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)
Only go out for essential services
Stay six feet or more away from others
Don’t gather in groups

The other concepts from social distancing will continue to apply when you are out shopping or walking or going to the doctor. These include washing hands, using hand sanitizer, disinfecting surfaces, not going out if sick, and staying at least six feet away from others at all times.

When does the Order go into effect?

The Order goes into effect 12:01 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

The Johnson County Mayor’s office will closely monitor the situation every day to determine the Order’s duration and any changes that may be necessary.

What are essential activities and what businesses will stay open?

The following essential activities will remain open:

Federal and state offices and services, including post offices and airports
Essential Johnson County government functions including law enforcement, transportation, and businesses that provide government programs and services
Food and beverage: grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, catering, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food processing, feed mills, and other businesses that directly support the food supply
Health care, mental and behavioral health, and biomedical research and businesses that directly support the healthcare industry including health information technology, staffing and supplies
Sanitation and waste removal businesses and services
Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services
Pharmacies and medical supply businesses, and other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline
Vehicle fuel, support, service stations and businesses
Banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and other business that directly support the insurance and financial services sector
Legal and judicial services
Laundromats/laundry/cleaning services
Home and business repair, hardware supply
Warehousing and storage
Construction and facilities design businesses
Product logistics, transport, and distribution businesses
Parcel transportation and delivery businesses
Veterinary and pet supply business and services including agricultural services and the caring and feeding of all livestock and farm animals
Home and business cleaning and maintenance services
All businesses which rely upon deliveries may continue, including florists
Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)
Print, online and broadcast media

In addition:

Daycare and childcare business will remain open, but will prioritize children of parents working in essential services.
Hotels and commercial lodges will remain open, but must end entertainment or dining services in restaurants or group settings. Pick-up and room-service food services may continue.
Housing and rental services may continue, but agents should practice social distancing, hold no open houses, or gather in groups larger than 10.
Essential services listed above may continue as long as appropriate distancing is physically possible and encouraged. These businesses will adhere to CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene in the workplace, including encouraging work-from-home and allowing employees when possible to work on-site in shifts to optimize social distancing in the workplace.
All essential services, especially grocery stores and pharmacies, will make best efforts to establish hours when only available to senior citizens or otherwise vulnerable populations.

What about infrastructure and construction?

Individuals may leave their residences to provide any services or goods or perform any work necessary to the operations, maintenance and manufacturing of essential infrastructure, including without limitation:

Construction of commercial and institutional buildings, and residential buildings and housing
Airport operations, food supply, concessions, and construction
Water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil extraction and refining.
Roads, highways, public transportation and rail.
Solid waste collection and removal.
Flood control and watershed protection.
Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)
And manufacturing and distribution companies deemed essential to the supply chains of the above industries