COLUMBUS, Ohio — The director of the Ohio Department of Health formally issued a new, all-encompassing health order Monday while simultaneously rescinding the patchwork of health orders that have been issued over the last year.
The new order, which can be read in full here, sets the following mandates:
Facial coverings or masks
With exceptions, all individuals in Ohio shall wear facial coverings at all times when:
- In any indoor location that is not a residence.
- Outdoors and unable to maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals not in their household or family,
- Waiting for, riding, driver, or operating public transportation, a taxi, a car service or a ride-sharing vehicle. This does not apply to private or rental vehicles with members of the family or household.
-The order defines a facial covering or mask as any material covering an individual’s nose, mouth and chin.
The mandate includes a number of exceptions, including:
-The individual is under 10 years of age.
- A medical condition contraindicates the wearing of a mask, including respiratory or mental health conditions, or a disability.
-The individual is communicating with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
-The individual is in an enclosed space not intended for public access, such as an office, and they are either alone or separated by at least six feet in all directions from other individuals.
-The individual is exercising in a gym or indoor facility and separated by six feet from other individuals.
-The individual is actively participating in an athletic practice, scrimmage or competition.
-The individual is actively engaged in public safety activity, including law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.
-The individual is seated and actively consuming food or beverage at a restaurant or bar.
-Facial coverings are prohibited by law or regulation, in violation of documented industry standards or are in violation of a businesses’ documented safety policies.
-The individual is actively participating in broadcast communications or is an officiant of a religious service.
-The individual is in an industrial or manufacturing facility and is separated by at least six feet in all directions, or by a barrier.
The mask mandate states that businesses must apply exceptions to mask-wearing equally to all persons. The mandate does not apply to jails or prison facilities. The mandate is not intended to supersede or supplant local laws that are more restrictive than the order.
Congregating, social distancing and sanitation
The new order states:
“Individuals must avoid gathering in groups and attempt at all times to maintain social distancing. When gathered together, individuals should be in a group of no more than ten individuals that is separated from other groups by at least six feet. Each individual should perform a daily health assessment and stay home if you have a fever, cough, or other signs of possible corona virus.”
The social distancing requirements outlined in the order include:
-Maintaining a six-foot distance from other individuals
-Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer
-Covering coughs and sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not hands
-Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces
-Not shaking hands
-Where possible, designate six-foot spacing for employees and customers with signage, tape or other means
-Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
The order further orders:
-Hand washing or sanitization upon entry to a facility
-Use of sanitizer products that meet CDC guidelines
-Availability of sanitizer throughout businesses and organized events
-Routine disinfection of high-contact surfaces, desk workstations, restrooms and equipment.
Large gatherings, exhibitions, competitions and auctions:
The orders states:
“Organizers and managers should conduct the event in a manner that discourages individuals from standing or sitting close together in buildings or on other parts of the grounds or premises. Where possible, the organizers and managers should provide one-way traffic in buildings or other areas, where doing so will help people maintain social distancing.”
Regarding exhibitions, competitions and auctions, the order states:
-Family members of participants shall have priority in the viewing area, and each family should group together in the viewing area, with six feet separating families.
-Microphones shall be sanitized after each person uses them
-Organizers should consider the use of virtual exhibitions and competitions, but this is not required.
-The maximum number of spectators to be in attendance at an indoor facility with fixed seating shall be 25% of the capacity of the facility, with groups of no more than 10 seated together and six feet separating seated spectators.
Signage and building ventilation
All businesses and organized gatherings, where possible, shall post clearly visible signage at all entrances stating that all persons entering are required to wear a face covering and engage in social distancing at all times. Official signage from the State of Ohio can be downloaded here.
The order states that “buildings accessible to the public shall strive to maximize ventilation, including opening doors and windows. Indoor facilities are expected to employ filtration of MERV 13 or higher at soon as practicably possible.”
Food and beverages
The order states:
-Patrons must be seated while actively eating and drinking
-Tables should be six feet apart and seat no more than 10 persons
-Facial coverings are to be worn when not seated
-It is recommended that at organized gatherings, areas be designated for tables and seating for food and drink consumption.
Duration of the current order
The order is in effect now, and remains in full effect until the Director of the Ohio Department of Health rescinds or modifies the order. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has previously stated that once the state reduces the number of COVID-19 cases to 50 per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, the health orders will be rescinded.
Rescinding of previous orders
In a separate order from the ODH director, the following orders issued over the past year have been rescinded and replaced with the new omnibus health order:
1. The Director's Order to Require an Inventory of All Ventilators in Ohio signed March 30, 2020 is rescinded.
2. The Director's Order that Reopens Campgrounds, with Exceptions signed May 20, 2020 is rescinded.
3. The Director's Order that Provides Guidance for Baseball, Softball, Batting Cages, Golf Courses, Miniature Golf, Local and Public Pools and Aquatic Centers, Tennis Facilities, Skills Training for All Sports, and General Non-Contact Sports including Bowling Alleys, with Exceptions signed May 22, 2020 is rescinded.
4. The Director's Order that Reopens Gyms, Dance Instruction Studios, and Other Personal Fitness Venues, with Exceptions signed May 22, 2020 is rescinded.
5. The Director's Updated and Revised Order for Business Guidance and Social Distancing signed May 29, 2020 is rescinded.
6. The Director's Order that Amends the Requirements for Non-Essential Surgeries and Procedures signed June 2, 2020 is rescinded.
7. The Director's Order Updating and Revising Requirements and Guidance for Youth Camps and Residential Camps, with Exceptions signed July 5, 2020 is rescinded.
8. The Director's Second Order to Extend the Expiration Date of Various Orders signed July 6, 2020 is rescinded.
9. The Director's Order for Facial Coverings throughout the State of Ohio signed July 23, 2020 is rescinded..
10. The Director's Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues signed August 25, 2020 is rescinded.
11. The Director's Third Amended Order that Reopens Restaurants, Bars, Banquet and Catering Facilities and Services to Dine-in Service, with Exceptions signed September 23, 2020 is rescinded.
12. The Director's Second Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports signed September 25, 2020 is rescinded.
13. The Amended Director's Order that Reopens Hair Salons, Day Spas, Nail Salons, Barber Shops Tattoo Parlors, Body Piercing Locations and Tanning Facilities, with Exceptions signed October 9, 2020 is rescinded..
14. The Addendum to Director's Third Amended Order that Reopens Restaurants, Bars, Banquet and Catering Facilities and Services to Dine-in Service, with Exceptions signed February 11, 2021 is rescinded.
15. The First Amended Revised Order to Limit and/or Prohibit Mass Gatherings in the State of Ohio, with Exceptions signed March 2, 2021 is rescinded.
16. The Addenda to Director's Second Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports signed 9/25/2020 and Director's Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues signed 8/25/2020 signed March 2, 2021 is rescinded.
17. The Director's Order that Reopens Fairs and Animal Exhibitions, with Exceptions signed March 11, 2021 is rescinded.
18. The Addendum to Director's Second Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports and Extracurricular Activities signed March 15, 2020 is rescinded.
You can view both these new orders and further details on orders from the ODH here.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Download the News 5 app for free to easily access local coronavirus coverage, and to receive timely and limited news alerts on major COVID-19 developments. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
Vaccinating Ohio - Find the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccines, Ohio's phased vaccination process, a map of vaccination clinics around the state, and links to sign up for a vaccination appointment through Ohio's online portal.
See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.
Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5's initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We're providing resources on:
Getting Back to Work - Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends Meet - Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the Stress - Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What's Right - Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
We're Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.
View a map of COVID-19 testing locations here.
Visit Ohio's Coronavirus website for the latest updates from the Ohio Department of Health.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.