This morning, the Governor’s office released the new “Director’s Stay Safe Ohio Order,” signed by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, which became effective at 11:59 pm last night. We owe a debt of gratitude to Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted for their recognition that Ohio needs to get back to the business of doing business, as long as we implement the appropriate precautions to ensure that customers and employees are protected from infection. Their leadership during this crisis has been nationally recognized but more importantly, greatly appreciated by businesses in the Buckeye State.
The order begins by acknowledging that the “sacrifices and incredible efforts that Ohioans have undertaken make it possible to begin to lift the mandatory requirements and restrictions” but adds that “…these orders set forth the minimum acts that must be taken and if people do more than the minimum to act safely, it will benefit everyone.”
Specifically, the order permits:
The order also identifies the businesses that must remain closed until further notice, including restaurants and bars.
Each sector identified above must adhere to section 20 of the order, “General COVID-19 Information and Checklist for Businesses and Employers” and section 21 of the order, “Sector Specific COVID-19 Information and Checklist for Businesses/Employers.”
In addition, beginning May 12 for retail establishments and facilities, all employees must wear a face covering at work except for one of the following reasons:
For each instance where an exception is utilized by an employer on behalf of one or more employees, written justification for the exception(s) must be provided to the local health department upon request. It is advisable to also have documentation available that supports the exception being claimed such as a copy of the applicable law or regulation, information from an industry manual, a letter from a doctor, etc.
All social distancing requirements from the original order remain in effect:
Local health departments and local law enforcement will remain the governmental entities that will be monitoring businesses for compliance and enforcing the requirements of the order. Businesses will still have the option of challenging local determinations that conflict with other local determinations (or the lack thereof) by submitting an online dispute resolution request form to the Ohio Department of Health to request a final and binding determination by the Ohio Stay at Home Order Dispute Resolution Commission.
We will continue to work closely with the DeWine/Husted Administration on the gradual reopening of businesses in Ohio with the goal of returning to normal operations as soon as possible, understanding that maintaining the necessary safeguards to protect customers and employees going forward is of the utmost importance.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-221-7833.