Updated Director’s Order Continues Most Sector-Specific Requirements for Ohio Businesses

Today, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton signed a new Director’s Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing that becomes effective at 11:59 pm, Friday, May 29, 2020. The new order, which is effective through 11:59 pm on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, continues most of the sector-specific requirements of previous orders and adds some new ones. Please read the order carefully and notate all applicable requirements for your business sector.

All employees regardless of sector must continue to wear facial coverings unless they are exempt under section 7, a-f. If requested by a local health department or law enforcement entity, businesses must provide written justification explaining why an employee is not required to wear a facial covering.

All previous social distancing requirements remain as do the sector specific COVID-19 requirements, including cleaning high-touch items such as carts and baskets after each use. There are, however, some additions worthy of note for retail and food service operations, where applicable:

If you have any questions regarding the new order, please e-mail Lora Miller at loram@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833.

Controversial Amendment to COVID-19 Business Liability Relief Bill Added on House Floor

During yesterday’s Ohio House of Representatives floor session, legislators were preparing to vote on a bill, Substitute House Bill 606 (Grendell, R–Chesterland), which is intended to provide immunity for businesses against claims related to the exposure to or contraction of COVID-19. Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) offered an amendment on the floor to designate COVID-19 as an occupational disease for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage for certain workers including employees of retail food establishments, food processors, peace officers, firefighters, emergency medical workers and corrections officers. The amendment, which was accepted without objection, was a complete surprise to both private and public employers. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has not yet determined the fiscal impact the amendment would have on employer premiums.

If you have any questions regarding Substitute House Bill 606, please e-mail Lora Miller at loram@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833. If you have any questions regarding the floor amendment to the bill, please e-mail Alex Boehnke at alexb@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833.

Pharmacists, Pharmacy Interns and Pharmacy Technicians to Perform COVID-19 Testing

During yesterday’s press conference, the Governor announced that per an advisory opinion released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Board of Pharmacy has issued updated guidance regarding the authority of pharmacists to order and administer FDA-authorized COVID-19 tests and the authority of pharmacy interns and technicians to administer the tests under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. Appropriate training is required for the administration of the tests and each site where tests will be conducted must have a CLIA certificate for the appropriate type of testing that will be performed.

In addition, legislation was introduced this week in the Ohio House of Representatives, House Bill 673 (Roemer, R-Richfield), to provide pharmacists with the authority to administer diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and tests for COVID-19 antibodies to individuals who are seven years of age or older. The bill will have its second hearing for proponent testimony next week in the House State and Local Government Committee, at which time the Council will make a statement of support for the bill to members of the committee.

If you have any questions regarding House Bill 673, please e-mail Lora Miller at loram@ohioretailmerchants.com or call 614-221-7833.