Gov. Mike DeWine announced Ohio would be under a “stay-at-home” order effective at 11:59 p.m. March 23 to slow the outbreak of COVID-19.
What exactly does that mean? Check out these frequently asked questions compiled by law firm Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Woodmere.
Q: What businesses are open and what businesses are closed?
A: All non-essential businesses in Ohio are closed from March 24 through at least April 6.
Q: What are the “essential businesses” that are permitted to remain open?
A: The stay at home deems the following 26 categories of businesses as “essential”:
• Health care and public health operations, human services operations, essential government functions and essential infrastructure
• Stores that sell groceries and medicine
• Food, beverage and license marijuana production and agriculture
• Organizations that provide charitable and social services
• Religious entities
• Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
• Financial and insurance institutions
• Hardware and supply stores
• Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services
• Educational institutions
• Laundry services
• Restaurants for consumption off-premises
• Supplies to work from home
• Supplies for essential businesses and operations
• Home-based care and services
• Residential facilities and services
• Professional services
• Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
• Critical labor union functions
• Hotels and motels
• Funeral services
• Critical trades
• First Amendment protected speech
• The critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the Department of Homeland Security
Q: We are an “essential business.” What does this mean for us?
A: It means that your physical location is open until further notice, business as usual (as best as can be under the circumstances). Employees who have been diagnosed with coronavirus, who are exhibiting coronavirus-like symptoms, or who have been exposed to coronavirus should remain at home and telework if possible. Companies should consider providing letters to employees documenting the essential nature of the business in the event law enforcement stops employees on their way to or from work (although the state has said that law enforcement should not be stopping people on their way to and from). Remember, above all else, despite the essential nature of your business, your employees’ health and safety remain the most important thing.
Q: What social distancing measures must essential businesses follow as a condition to remaining open?
A: Businesses must take the following proactive measures to ensure compliance with social distancing requirements as a condition to remaining open for business:
• Designate six-foot distances, with signage, tape or other means to ensure six-foot spacing for employees and customers.
• Have hand sanitizer and other sanitizing products available for employees and customers.
• Implement separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers.
• Post online whether a business is open and how best to reach it, and be available to continue services by phone or remotely.
For more questions and answers, visit Meyers Roman online.