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Gov. Mike DeWine provides details of updated health order enforcing mask-wearing in retail settings

Mike DeWine
Posted at 7:16 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 19:16:29-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Friday, Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed the health order that Gov. Mike DeWine announced was in the works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 across the state as the virus continues to surge—enforcing mask-wearing in retail locations in compliance with the statewide mandatory mask order signed in July.

The order restates that all individuals 10 years old or older must wear a face mask or covering when in a retail store.

Retail locations will have the following requirements, as mandated in the updated health order:

  • 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.

As announced by DeWine on Wednesday, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Retail Compliance Unit will help enforce the mandates in retail establishments across the state, and will work alongside ODH, local health departments and local law enforcement.

The following is how the state will enforce the updated health order:

  • 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).

Because they fall under previously-issued, existing orders that remain in place, the updates regarding retail enforcement do not apply to restaurants, bars, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, tanning facilities, gyms, dance instruction studios, or personal fitness venues, according to DeWine.

The updated health order will take effect beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine updates mask, social gathering orders, threatens closures in 1 week if trends don't improve