COLUMBUS, Ohio — Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday that all employees and customers will be required to wear face masks at various types of businesses as they begin to reopen in Ohio next month.
The first of the state's five "Responsible Protocols" for all businesses as they begin to reopen is: "No mask, no work, no service, no exception. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times."
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This applies to all sectors of business that will be allowed to reopen: manufacturing, distribution, construction and general office environments, which will be allowed to reopen on May 4; and consumer, retail and services, many of which will be allowed to reopen beginning May 12.
Masks will be required not just for employees who operate these businesses, but customers, clients and guests that are shopping and visiting these businesses.
DeWine made wearing a mask a requirement as factor for reopening the economy.
Besides making masks mandatory, the governor also announced companies must follow the guidelines below in order to reopen:
Ensure minimum six feet between people.
Specify hours for at-risk populations (e.g. elderly).
Place hand sanitizers in high-contact locations.
Ask customers and guests not to enter if symptomatic.
Face coverings to be worn while shopping or visiting.
Stagger entry of customers and guests.
Click here to see a full list of mandatory operating requirements and recommended best practices for the sectors of Ohio's economy that will be allowed to reopen under the governor's plan.
You will not have to wear a mask while doing outdoor activities.
Hannah Halbert, Exec. Director with Policy Matters Ohio, told News 5 her agency was hoping the governor would have delayed opening plans for businesses for a few more weeks, until COVID-19 numbers dropped further.
“There's some very fundamental questions that have been not answered in this roll-out," Halbert said.
“It’s very disheartening to see that we’re willing to put all of that progress at risk because there’s been an uptick in demonstrations and out cry form the fringe elements.”
David Gilbert, CEO with Destination Cleveland, told News 5 he wasn't disappointed restaurants and entertainment venues weren't included in the plan as yet.
Gilbert said consumer confidence needs to improve before enough customer would feel comfortable patronizing these types of service oriented businesses at this time.
“While we’re all itching for all of these things to come back, I’d rather see them come back when we know they’re most safe and we’re not going to see a re-occurrence,” Gilbert said.
Daniel Cohn with the Mt. Sinai Healthcare Foundation agreed with DeWine's measured approach.
“We don’t want to put anybody in a position, I suspect the governor wouldn’t want to put anybody in a position where they would put their lives on the line in order to make a buck," said Cohn.
Prof. Bill Kosteas, Chair of CSU Economics, told News 5 consumer confidence is crucial before opening restaurants, fitness centers and hair salons, but he said he's please the manufacturing sector is getting a restart on May 4.
“For a lot of customers, they’re not really going to get out there until they feel comfortable, and I think in particular with restaurants.”
“But when it comes to manufacturing, it's good to start safely reopening, the longer you have plants sitting idle, the more difficult it is to get them up and running.”
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Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.
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The federal government has begun distributing $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans to help relieve the economic burden caused by coronavirus. Click here for everything you need to know about checking the status and receiving these payments.
The CDC and the Ohio Department of Health are now recommending the use of cloth face coverings in public to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Read more about the CDC's recommendation here. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a face mask from common household materials, without having to know how to sew.
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Here is everything you need to know about testing for coronavirus in Ohio.
Here's a list of things in Northeast Ohio closed due to coronavirus concerns
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