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Ohio Orders

Last Updated: 5.21.2020 @ 5:o5 pm

DISCLAIMER: The following information is a guide, not intended to be used as legal advice, and no attorney client relationship is established by any communication through this website.  Because every situation and every workplace is different we ask that you contact us with specific questions. 

On May 20, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued an urgent health advisory, “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans” recommending Ohioans continue to stay home as much as possible.

  • The Mandates limiting large groups and requiring safe business conditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio remain in place.
  • Under the advisory, elderly people and those vulnerable to COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions including chronic lung disease, hearth complications, immune compromised, severe obesity or diabetes, etc. are urged to avoid places where they are likely to be exposed to an increased number of people, wear masks, and practice good hand-washing hygiene.
    • All other Ohioans are advised to take precautions to limit the spread of the disease.
  • The advisory recommends but no longer requires Ohioans to stay at their place of residence when possible.

The Ohio Department of Health also issued a Director’s Order on May 20, 2020, rescinding the following sections of the Stay at Home Order amended and signed on April 30, 2020:

  • Section 3: ordered Ohioans to stay home and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from other people, with the exception of family or household members.
    • Ohioans are no longer required to stay at home but are still encouraged to do so.
  • Section 5: ordered people riding on public transit to comply with social distancing requirements. People entering the state with the intent to stay were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they were doing so for critical infrastructure or healthcare workforce purposes.
    • Section 5 was amended and requires people testing positive for COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to not enter the state unless they are permanent residents or are doing so under medical orders, are being transported by EMS, or being driven directly to a medical provider for purposes of initial care; and
  • Section 15: provided exceptions to the order that Ohioans not travel (such as for work or to care for others).
    • Under the new advisory all travel is permitted, but Ohioans are still encouraged to stay home.

 

Ohio Amended the Stay at Home Order Effective April 30, 2020 – May 29, 2020

The Order amends the following:

Facial Coverings (Masks):

Businesses must allow all customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings, except for specifically documented legal, life, health or safety considerations and limited documented security considerations. Businesses must require all employees to wear facial coverings, except for one of the following reasons:

  • Facial coverings in the work setting are prohibited by law or regulation;
  • Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards;
  • Facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons;
  • Facial coverings are in violation of the business’s documented safety policies;
  • Facial coverings are not required when the employee works alone in an assigned work area; or
  • There is a functional (practical) reason for an employee not to wear a facial covering in the workplace.
    • Businesses must provide written justification, upon request, explaining why an employee is not required to wear a facial covering in the workplace.
    • At a minimum, facial coverings (masks) should be cloth/fabric and cover an individual’s nose, mouth, and chin.

Medical Care:

  • Effective April 30, 2020, medical providers and dentists may resume non-essential surgeries and procedures if certain criteria are met, including the provider following infection control and environmental practices in accordance with ODH and CDC guidelines and providing proper PPE.
  • For further information, please review the Stay at Home Order https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Directors-Stay-Safe-Ohio-Order.pdf

Manufacturing, Distribution and Construction:

Closed manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses may reopen subject to the requirements put in place in connection with the prior Stay At Home Order and the checklist below.

General Office Environments:

Closed general office environments may reopen subject to prior orders regarding offices and the checklist below. However, businesses are still strongly encouraged to allow as many employees as possible to work from home.

Retail:

Retail establishments may open May 12, 2020 subject to specific safety requirements set forth in the checklist below.

Checklist for Businesses/Employers:

Manufacturing, distribution & construction:

  • Ensure minimum 6 feet between people, if not possible, install barriers;
  • Employees must perform daily symptom assessment that should include taking temperature with a thermometer and monitoring for fever. Also watching for coughing or trouble breathing;
  • Require employees to stay home if symptomatic;
  • Consider having distributers and guests wear face coverings at all times;
  • Require regular handwashing;
  • Stagger or limit arrivals of employees and guests;
  • Have employees work from home whenever possible;
  • Daily disinfection of desks and workstations;
  • Change shift patterns (e.g. fewer shifts);
  • Stagger lunch and break times;
  • Daily deep disinfection of high-contact surfaces;
  • Space factory floor to allow for distancing;
  • Regulate max number of people in cafeterias/common spaces;
  • Establish maximum capacity;
  • Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work;
  • Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures; and
  • Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible.

 

Consumer, retail & services

  • Ensure minimum 6 feet between employees, if not possible, install barriers;
  • Employees must perform daily symptom assessment that should include taking temperature with a themometer and monitoring for fever. Also watching for coughing or trouble breathing;
  • Require employees to stay home if symptomatic;
  • Consider having customers wear face coverings at all times;
  • Require regular handwashing by employees;
  • Place hand sanitizers in high-contact locations;
  • Clean high-touch items after each use (e.g. carts, baskets);
  • Ensure minimum 6 feet between customers;
  • Specify hours for at-risk populations (e.g. elderly);
  • Ask customers and guests not to enter if symptomatic;
  • Stagger entry of customers and guests;
  • Post social distancing signage and disinfect high-contact surfaces hourly;
  • Clean merchandise before stocking if possible;
  • Establish maximum capacity;
  • Discontinue self-service food stations, product samples;
  • Food courts remain closed;
  • Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work;
  • Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures; and
  • Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible.

General office environments

  • Ensure minimum 6 feet between employees, if not possible, install barriers;
  • Personnel should work from home when possible;
  • Employees must perform daily symptom assessment that should include taking temperature with a thermometer and monitoring for fever. Also watching for coughing or trouble breathing;
  • Require employees to stay home if symptomatic;
  • Consider having customers wear face coverings at all times;
  • Require regular handwashing by employees;
  • Reduce sharing of work materials;
  • Limit travel as much as possible;
  • Stagger arrival of all employees and guests;
  • Post signage on health safety guidelines in common areas;
  • Frequent disinfection of desks, workstations, and high-contact surfaces;
  • Daily disinfection of common areas;
  • Cancel/postpone in-person events when social distancing guidelines cannot be met;
  • No buffet in cafeteria;
  • Utilize disposable tableware and other materials;
  • Establish maximum capacity;
  • Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work;
  • Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures; and
  • Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible.

This order will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 29, 2020 unless the Director of Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this order.

Enforcement:

  • Pursuant to R.C 3701.352 “[n]o person shall violate any rule the director of health or department of health adopts or any order the director or department of health issues under this chapter to prevent a threat to the public caused by a pandemic, epidemic, or bioterrorism event.” R.C. 3701.56 provides that “[b]oards of health of a general or city health district, health authorities and officials, officers of state institutions, police officers, sheriffs, constables, and other officers and employees of the state or any county, city, or township, shall enforce quarantine and isolation orders, and the rules the department of health adopts.”
    • To the extent any public official enforcing this Order has questions regarding what services are prohibited under this Order, the Director of Health hereby delegates to local health departments the authority to answer questions in writing and consistent with this Order, but does not require local health departments to provide advisory opinions to nongovernmental entities.
    • A person in violation of R.C. 3701.352 is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, which can include a fine or not more than $750 or not more that 90 days in jail or both.
  • A Dispute Resolution Commission has been established for conflicts that arise between local health departments that may issue determinations to enforce this order that conflict with one another.

This order will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 29, 2020 unless the Director of Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies this order.

FAQs


Q: Is there an Exception for Home-Based Businesses and People Working from Home?
A:Yes

 

Q: What are the requirements for the businesses allowed to remain open under the Stay at Home Order?

  • Social distancing including designating 6-foot distances between employees and customers in line with signage, tape or other means of spacing to maintain appropriate distance is required.
    • All stores shall determine and enforce the maximum capacity of persons at one time to maintain a 6 foot distance, and
      • display that capacity number at every entrance,
      • if a line is formed inside or outside the store, a 6 foot distance shall be maintained.
    • all carts and baskets must be cleaned between customers.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products must be available for employees.
  • The order also requires separate operating hours for vulnerable populations and online and remote access.
  • Businesses are asked to post online whether their facilities are open and how best to reach the facility remotely and by phone.
  • Essential businesses are required to allow as many employees as possible to work from home and encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Businesses are required to ensure sick-leave policies are up to date and non-punitive to allow employees to care for sick family members and themselves and return to work without punishment.
  • The order also requires employers to separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately.
  • Employers must clean the workplace frequently and be prepared to change business practices.

Q: Could you address the right to refuse, regarding if an employee refuses to come to work, but does not have COVID symptoms? As far as employee rights versus employer rights?
A: Typically, employees can only refuse to work if they believe they are in imminent danger. OSHA defines “imminent danger” as “any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which can reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this Act.” Most work environments do not meet the threshold of an “imminent danger” standard, but each employer will need to determine on a case by case basis whether an employee is able to refuse work. It is also worth noting that employees may be protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act for discussing the safety of the workforce with other employees and participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe condition.

Additional recommendations for Keeping Employees Safe at the Workplace

  • Governor DeWine encouraged business owners to begin taking the temperature of employees when they arrive at work in an effort to identify anyone who was becoming ill. If this is not feasible, Governor DeWine asked that employers require workers to take their own temperatures prior to arriving at work. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher should self-quarantine with members of their household.
  • The CDC recommends employees clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand-washing reminders by email. Employers should create habits and reminders to employees to cover their coughs and sneezes and avoid touching their faces. Employees should stop handshaking and use non-contact greetings such as waving instead.
  • The CDC also recommends employers disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails regularly and increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
  • Employers should use videoconferencing for meetings when possible. When not possible, meetings should be held in open, well-ventilated spaces and attendees should be at least 6 feet apart. Employers should consider adjusting or postponing large meetings, gatherings and business travel.
  • Finally, the CDC recommends limiting food sharing and strengthening health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts. Cafeteria staff and their close contacts should practice strict hygiene.
  • For more information regarding employee protection/retail worker protection, see here

Contact us for more information!

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