Governor DeWine Announces First Phase of Reopening Ohio

Posted on April 28th, 2020 by Derek P. Hartman

On April 27, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced the initial stages of reopening Ohio’s economy following a month long “stay-at-home” order that caused numerous Ohio businesses to close and confined Ohio residents to their homes.

In his announcement, Governor DeWine announced five protocols that all Ohio businesses are required to follow:

1.  Recommend face coverings for employees and clients/customers.

2.  Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”

3.  Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing.

4.  Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.

5.  Limit capacity to meet social distancing

    1. Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code.
    2. Use appointment setting, where possible, to limit congestion.

In addition, if a COVID-19 infection is identified, businesses are required to:

1.  Immediately report employee or customer infections to the local health district.

2.  Work with local health department to identify potentially exposed individuals to help facilitate appropriate communication/contact tracing.

3. Shutdownshop/floor for deep sanitation, if possible.

4. Professionally clean and sanitize site/location.

5.  Reopen in consultation with the local health department.

Three sectors of Ohio’s economy have been issued specific operating requirements that were updated as of April 28, 2020. These operating requirements are described below with links to the full text of the mandatory and recommended best practices for each sector. These requirements also apply to essential businesses that were exempted from the stay-at-home order.

Businesses that do not follow these regulations may be subject to criminal penalties, civil liability, and/or closure. As always, we encourage you to contact our office if you have any questions about this article or if you need any legal services or advice on solutions to issues that may impact your business, your customers, or your employees.

Manufacturing, distribution, and construction companies may reopen on May 4, 2020.

On May 4, 2020, manufacturing, distribution, and construction companies may resume business operations. These businesses must adhere to the basic protocols that apply to all businesses. In addition, these businesses are required to follow specific operating requirements, which can be found here.

General offices may reopen on May 4, 2020.

On May 4, 2020, general offices may reopen provided they adhere to the basis protocols that apply to all businesses and specific operating requirements that apply to businesses who operate within an office environment. The specific operating requirements that general offices are required to follow can be found here.

Consumer, retail, and service businesses may reopen on May 12, 2020.

On May 12, 2020, consumer, retail, and service business may reopen. These businesses must adhere to the basic protocols that apply to all businesses and specific requirements that apply to these types of businesses. The specific requirements that apply to these businesses can be found here.

Hospital, medical, dental and veterinary services that do not require an overnight hospital stay may reopen on May 1, 2020.

While final guidance and orders have not been issued, the Governor announced that as of May 1, 2020, health procedures and surgeries that do not require an overnight stay in a hospital will be allowed, including dental and veterinary procedures. The Governor’s March 17, 2020 order had banned these elective surgeries and procedures.

Hospitals, medical facilities, dentists, and veterinarians who elect to reopen must abide by the protocols set forth above. The governor noted that the March order did not prevent people from going to their doctor or their hospital for non-elective procedures, such as cancer treatment and surgeries to relieve pain.

Businesses that remain closed.

The following business shall remain closed until further notice:

  • schools;
  • dine-in restaurants and bars;
  • personal appearance and beauty businesses (hair and nail salons);
  • older adult day care services and senior centers;
  • adult day support or vocational habilitation services in group settings; and
  • entertainment, recreation, and gyms, including, all places of public amusement, whether indoor or outdoor, such as:
    • laser tag;
    • roller skating rinks;
    • arcades;
    • bowling alleys;
    • casinos;
    • stadiums;
    • areas;
    • movie theatres;
    • recreation centers;
    • parades;
    • fairs;
    • carnivals;
    • amusement parks;
    • country clubs; and
    • swimming pools.

A list of protocols that all businesses must follow can be found here.