Governor DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issue “Stay at Home” Order
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced yesterday that Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton implemented a statewide “stay at home” order so to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible while enabling essential services to continue. The Order, which can be read in full here, creates the following rules:
The Order Begins at 11:59 p.m. Tonight
The Order will last until 11:59 p.m. April 6, unless Dr. Acton rescinds or modifies the Order at a sooner date.
The Order Limits Leaving the Home Only For Essential Activities
Ohioans may leave their home only to perform any of the following:
- Activities or tasks essential to their health and safety, or the health and safety of their family, household members, or persons who are unable or should not leave their home (including, but not limited to, pets). This includes (but is not limited to) seeking healthcare services or obtaining medical supplies;
- Obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, their family, household members, or persons who are unable or should not leave their home, or to deliver services or supplies to others. This includes (but is not limited to) obtaining groceries and food, household consumer produces, cleaning supplies, supplies needed to work from home, and automobile supplies;
- Outdoor activities (while maintaining Social Distancing – defined below) such as walking, hiking, running, biking, or visiting public parks and open outdoor recreation areas (excluding public access playgrounds);
- Perform work for or access Essential Businesses (defined below);
- Obtain services from long-term care facilities, day care centers, day care homes, or similar facilities;
- Care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, or to attend weddings and funerals;
- Travel to and from education institutions to obtain materials for distance learning, means, and related services; and
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order (such as transport of children pursuant to a custody agreement;
The Order Limits Businesses that May Remain Open
The following “Essential Businesses” may continue operations, though each business is urged to work remotely if feasible:
- First responders, emergency management personnel, dispatchers, legislators, judges, court personnel, jurors, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military, and any service provided the State or any municipality, township, county, political subjection, board, commission, or agency of government needed to support the health, safety, and welfare of the public;
- Health care and public health operations;
- Stores that sell groceries and medicine;
- Food, beverage, and licensed marijuana production and agriculture;
- Organizations that provide charitable and social services;
- Religious entities;
- Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services (including First Amendment protected speech);
- Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation;
- Banks and insurance companies;
- Hardware and supply stores;
- Post offices or other business that provide shipping and delivery services;
- Public and private pre-K-12 schools, collects, universities, and other educational institutions;
- Laundry services;
- Restaurants that offer carry-out or take-out;
- Businesses that sell supplies to work from home;
- Residential facilities and shelters;
- Home-based care and services;
- Child care centers operating under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license (with no more than six children and one teacher in a class);
- Legal services, accounting services, insurance services, or real estate services (including appraisal or title services);
- Certain labor union activities;
- Funeral services; and
- Hotels and motels; and
- Any business that provides supplies for Essential Businesses.
Non-Essential Businesses may continue with “Minimum Basic Operations” such as maintenance of inventory, preservation of equipment and property, ensuring security, or processing payroll and employee benefits.
The Order Mandates Certain Business Actions
Essential Businesses that remain open must take the following actions.
- Allow as many employees as possible to work from home;
- Encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free from fever for at least 72 hours and at least seven days since any symptoms have begun to improve;
- Do not require a healthcare provider’s note to validate the illness or return to work of employees sick with acute respiratory illness;
- Do not punish employees who stay home to care for themselves, children, or other family members;
- Separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately;
- Advise employees to stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene;
- Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles for employees;
- Frequently clean commonly touch surfaces with appropriate cleaning agents and provide disposable wipes so commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees; and
- Prepare to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (such as identifying alternative supplies, prioritizing customers, or temporarily suspending some operations).
The Order Mandates Social Distancing
Individuals must maintain at least six-foot social distancing from others, wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible (or use hand sanitizer), cover coughs or sneezes with their sleeve or elbow, regularly clean high-touch surfaces, and not shake hands with another. Essential Businesses must al
- Designate six-foot distances with signage, tape, or other means for employees and customers to maintain appropriate distance;
- Provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers;
- Implement separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers; and
- Post online whether a facility is open and continue services by phone or remotely.
Employers statewide will need to carefully review this Order and implement the appropriate measures in its workforce. Contact your Graydon employment attorney to help with these emergency measures.