Mike DeWine

Ohio Gov.

Mike DeWine

CIRCLEVILLE—A pair new health orders signed by Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes went into effect.

Himes signed a health order to enforce mask-wearing in retail locations across the state in compliance with the statewide mandatory mask order signed on July 23, 2020. Another revised health order to limit mass gatherings was also signed this week.

“Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment that is as safe as can be, which means all customers must wear masks,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said about the order. “Further, each Ohioan who goes out to shop has the right to know that every store they enter will be safe and the people they encounter in that store will be wearing a mask. We know that masks work. They are the easiest, most cost-effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The order reaffirms that everyone 10 years-old or older must wear a facial covering when in a retail store and includes the following provisions:

Retail Locations

All retailers must post and enforce a sign indicating that masks are required at all entrances. Employees are not required to put themselves in jeopardy or risk harm when enforcing this order.

All retailers must post at all entrances a maximum capacity limit to ensure a minimum of six-feet physical distance can be maintained throughout the location.

All retailers should mark six-feet separation spots in all check-out lines.

All retailers should arrange all store aisles to be directionally one-way, if required to achieve appropriate social distancing.

All retailers should place hand sanitizer stations at high-contact locations.

All retailers must require employees to stay home if symptomatic.

All retailers must disinfect high-touch areas after each use (e.g. carts, baskets, and other equipment).

All retailers should provide reasonable accommodation to any person unable to wear a mask into the store by providing online or telephone ordering and curbside, non-contact pick up or a delivery option and/or allowing a person to wear a full face shield that extends below the chin. Each retailer must post a sign at each entrance detailing these accommodations.

Customers are strongly urged to utilize online or telephone ordering and curbside, non-contact pick-up or delivery options.

This order does not apply to those medically or developmentally unable to wear a face covering.

Each business should designate an on-site compliance officer for each business location and each shift during all business hours to enforce these requirements.

Compliance

Enforcement

State of Ohio employees with enforcement powers, including the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Retail Compliance Unit employees working on behalf of the Ohio Department of Health, representatives of local health departments, and local law enforcement are authorized to inspect and enforce the order.

All retailers shall allow representatives of the Ohio Department of Health, a local health department, or law enforcement to inspect public areas during business hours.

The representative will issue an initial warning to the business before issuing a notice of violation requiring closure.

If a notice of violation of these orders is issued by a representative from the Ohio Department of Health, a local health department, or law enforcement, the retail location must immediately shut down for no longer than 24 hours to allow for dissipation of COVID-19 airborne droplets.

Citizens observing non-compliance should notify the Ohio Department of Health call center at 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).

This order does not apply to restaurants, bars, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, tanning facilities, gyms, dance instruction studios, or personal fitness venues as these businesses fall under previously-issued, existing orders.

This order took effect Monday morning just after midnight.

When it comes to mass gatherings, Himes second order has several new restrictions mostly around parties following weddings and funerals. Those restrictions include no socializing or activities in open congregate areas and no dancing, guests must be seated at all times.

Traditional wedding reception events such as first dance, toasts, tossing the bouquet and cutting the cake are permitted.

If serving food and beverages, guests must be served at their seats. No self-serve buffets and no self-serve bar areas permitted.

Masks must be worn at all times unless actively consuming food or beverages.

No more than 10 people should be seated at a table and those individuals must be from the same household.

This order does not apply to religious observances; First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators, and any activity by media; and to governmental meetings which include meetings that are required to be open to the public.

“Despite the health order that limited mass gatherings to 10 people that was signed in April remaining in effect, we have seen rampant spread of the virus as a result of banquets, wedding receptions, and social gatherings following funerals,” Governor DeWine said. “We have seen great tragedy associated with such events. It’s not the ceremonies causing the problem. It’s the party afterward.”This order goes went into effect today at 12:01 a.m.

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