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Ohio’s Revised Mask Order: What Businesses Need to Know

The Ohio Department of Health’s July 23, 2020 Order regarding facial covering mandates has been amended in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio. The order became effective today, Nov. 16, 2020. See the order here.

This new order includes the following additional mandates for retail stores (enterprises offering goods to the public) only.

  1. Each business will be required to post at all public entrances to the store:

    1. A face covering requirement sign;

    2. A notice of the maximum-capacity limit (as determined by the Department of Health’s May 29, 2020 Order) to ensure a minimum of six-feet physical distance throughout the location; and

    3. A notice of the accommodations available to individuals that are unable to wear masks, as described in 2(F) below.

  2. Each store will be responsible for ensuring customers and employees are wearing masks and take additional measures to ensure compliance with the order, including:

    1. Marking six-feet separation spots for check-out lines;

    2. Arranging store aisles to be directionally one-way, as necessary to ensure proper distancing;

    3. Placing hand sanitizer at high-contact locations;

    4. Requiring employees to stay home if symptomatic;

    5. Disinfecting high-touch areas after each use (such as carts);

    6. Provide online/telephone ordering, curbside/non-contact pick-up or delivery options, or full-face shields for individuals who are unable to wear masks; and

    7. Designate an on-site compliance officer for each location and shift to enforce these requirements.

  3. Employees are not expected to risk harm or put themselves in jeopardy when seeking to enforce this order.

  4. The newly created Workers’ Compensation Retail Compliance Unit, local health departments, and local law enforcement are authorized to inspect stores and enforce the order.

  5. Violations result in the following:

    1. First offense will result in a written warning and

    2. Second offense will result in a 24-hour mandated store closure.

The 10-person limit on social gatherings remains in effect. In addition, the Ohio Department of Health will issue an order limiting social activities at large gatherings (including weddings and funerals), including closing open congregate areas and requiring everyone to be seated unless actively consuming food or drinks.

Bars, restaurants, salons, tattoo parlors, barber shops, spas, and fitness centers are not subject to this new order but remain subject to existing orders regarding their operations and will be reevaluated for possible closures or regulations on Nov. 19, 2020.

The July 23, 2020 Order, which remains in effect, requires individuals wear face coverings at all times when (1) in an indoor location that is not a residence, (2) outside and unable to maintain a distance of six feet from non-household or family members, and (3) when waiting for transportation services to arrive. There are no amendments to the exceptions for the mask mandate.

© 2023 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 321

About this Author

Jonathan M. Kelly Labor Attorney Dinsmore Law Firm

Jon focuses his practice on employment law and litigation. He has a range of experience in employment defense including contentious, high-profile discrimination cases under Title VII, multi-plaintiff wage and hour suits, ADA, FMLA, and various state laws. He has helped guide and manage disputes at every stage of litigation, from initial investigations through trial. Whatever the situation may be, Jon’s primary focus is achieving the best outcome for his clients in the most efficient manner.

Faith Whittaker, Dinsmore Law Firm, Cincinnati, Labor and Employment Law Attorney

A partner in the Employment, Labor and Benefits Department, Faith has experience guiding clients through issues that arise in the workplace. She handles employment-related litigation for her clients, who range from local businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Understanding each client has different tolerances and objectives in dealing with employment matters, Faith is passionate about learning her client’s industry and gaining insight into their operations. While always prepared to vigorously proceed through litigation, she teams with her clients...