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Stay Safe Ohio Order Reopens Some Businesses and Extends Stay At Home with Certain Exceptions

By Sarah Baker

May 4, 2020

Governor DeWine stated in his April 30, 2020 briefing that the stay at home order would be extended with certain exceptions. A copy of the Stay Safe Ohio Order, which is effective until May 29, 2020, can be found here (Stay Safe Ohio Order) (the “Order”).  The Order instructs Ohioans to stay home (except to participate in activities and business operations as permitted in the Order) and provides for continued compliance with the previously implemented six-foot social distancing mandate (see paragraph 16 of the Order for specific guidance on social distancing). 

The employee face mask requirement and exceptions thereto have not changed from Attorney Eric Michener's most recent blog post (here). The Order does, however, state that face masks must, at minimum, be cloth/fabric and cover the nose, mouth, and chin. Governor DeWine commented during his April 30, 2020 briefing that the type of face mask required varies depending upon the work environment. As an example, he indicated that employees entering office buildings simply need a cloth face covering (which they are permitted to remove once seated in an isolated workspace), whereas employees working in dental offices will need to wear masks consistent with the industry standard. 

Under the new order, some businesses are permitted to reopen so long as workplace safety standards are met. Those businesses not permitted to reopen were specifically identified as follows:

  • Schools
  • Restaurants/Bars (with the exception of carry-out and delivery)
  • Personal Appearance/Beauty
  • Adult Day Support or Vocational Habilitation Services in a Congregated Setting
  • Older Adult Day Care Services and Senior Centers
  • Child Care Services (with the exception of those with temporary pandemic child care license)
  • Entertainment/Recreation/Gymnasiums (includes campgrounds with few exceptions)

It should be noted that any business ordered closed is permitted to engage in Minimum Basic Operations, such as necessary activities to maintain the value of inventory, preserve the condition of the physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll, and benefits, and facilitate the remote work of employees. 

The Order rescinds a previous March 17, 2020 order related to the management of non-essential surgeries and procedures effective April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm. Medical professionals, including dental offices and veterinarians, are permitted to resume services on May 1, 2020, if they comply with strict guidelines, many but not all of which relate to the conservation of personal protective equipment (“PPE”).  Those guidelines can be found in paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Order.  Providers are also required to communicate with patients about the risks of proceeding with certain medical treatments and create a plan that is safe for the provider and the patient based on the patient’s unique circumstances. 

On May 4, 2020, all construction, manufacturing, distribution, and general office operations are permitted to resume business. Retail and consumer-based operations may resume business on May 12, 20202.  Retail establishments that limit operations to curbside pickup, delivery, and appointment only (limited to 10 customers at any one time) may reopen May 2, 2020.  All businesses that choose to reopen during this time are subject to compliance with specific safety, cleaning, and social distancing guidelines which can be found in paragraphs 20 and 21 of the Order. Businesses are encouraged to continue having employees work from home if at all possible. 

If you need guidance regarding reopening your business or compliance with the Stay Safe Ohio Order, please do not hesitate to contact any of the attorneys at Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston for assistance. 

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