Masks, Mass Gatherings, Curfew Update

Date: November 16, 2020

What small business owners need to know this week in the fight against COVID-19

Statewide Curfew

Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thursday, November 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days. 

The curfew will not apply to those going to or from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care. The curfew is not intended to stop anyone from getting groceries or going to a pharmacy. Picking up carry-out or a drive-thru meal and ordering for delivery will be permitted, but serving food and drink in person must cease at 10 p.m. 

Additional details on the 21-day curfew order are forthcoming.

“We’re not shutting down, we’re slowing down,” said Governor DeWine. “The curfew is aimed at helping to reduce the number of person-to-person contacts because the only way virus lives is when it goes from one person to another. We have to flatten this curve again and get this under control.”

The decision to impose a 21-day curfew was made with input from the medical and business communities with consideration to the economic and mental health impacts that another shutdown could cause. 

“This is a balanced approach that will slow down people coming together and impact the spread of the virus to the point that it can be controlled, and at the same time, not cause a catastrophic effect in the economy,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “You have to care about both the economy and health – you can’t just care about one in isolation. Based on all of the recommendations we considered, a curfew was the most impactful option with the least disruption.” 

Governor DeWine also encouraged Ohioans to do one thing each day that will decrease the spread of the virus through mask-wearing, social distancing, and limiting the number of daily contacts.  

Wearing Masks

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a health order to enforce mask-wearing in retail locations across the state in compliance with the statewide mandatory mask order signed on July 23, 2020.

“Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment that is as safe as can be, which means all customers must wear masks.  Further, each Ohioan who goes out to shop has the right to know that every store they enter will be safe and the people they encounter in that store will be wearing a mask,” said Governor DeWine. “We know that masks work.  They are the easiest, most cost-effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

This order restates that everyone 10 years-old or older must wear a facial covering when in a retail store and includes the following provisions:

Retail Locations

  • All retailers must post and enforce a sign indicating that masks are required at all entrances. Employees are not required to put themselves in jeopardy or risk harm when enforcing this order.
  • All retailers must post at all entrances a maximum capacity limit to ensure a minimum of six-feet physical distance can be maintained throughout the location.
  • All retailers should mark six-feet separation spots in all check-out lines.
  • All retailers should arrange all store aisles to be directionally one-way, if required to achieve appropriate social distancing.
  • All retailers should place hand sanitizer stations at high-contact locations.
  • All retailers must require employees to stay home if symptomatic.
  • All retailers must disinfect high-touch areas after each use (e.g. carts, baskets, and other equipment).
  • All retailers should provide reasonable accommodation to any person unable to wear a mask into the store by providing online or telephone ordering and curbside, non-contact pick up or a delivery option and/or allowing a person to wear a full face shield that extends below the chin. Each retailer must post a sign at each entrance detailing these accommodations.
  • Customers are strongly urged to utilize online or telephone ordering and curbside, non-contact pick-up or delivery options.
  • This order does not apply to those medically or developmentally unable to wear a face covering.
  • Each business should designate an on-site compliance officer for each business location and each shift during all business hours to enforce these requirements.

Compliance Enforcement

  • State of Ohio employees with enforcement powers, including the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Retail Compliance Unit employees working on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health, representatives of local health departments, and local law enforcement are authorized to inspect and enforce the order.
  • All retailers shall allow representatives of the Ohio Department of Health, a local health department, or law enforcement to inspect public areas during business hours.
  • The representative will issue an initial warning to the business before issuing a notice of violation requiring closure.
  • If a notice of violation of these orders is issued by a representative from the Ohio Department of Health, a local health department, or law enforcement, the retail location must immediately shut down for no longer than 24 hours to allow for dissipation of COVID-19 airborne droplets.
  • Citizens observing non-compliance should notify the Ohio Department of Health call center at 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

This order does not apply to restaurants, bars, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, tanning facilities, gyms, dance instruction studios, or personal fitness venues as these businesses fall under previously-issued, existing orders.

This order took effect at 12:01 a.m. on November 16, 2020.

Mass Gatherings

Effective 12:01 a.m. on November 17, 2020, a new order on mass gatherings

 

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