Ohio Curfew Order and Local Advisories Impose No New Mandates for Most Workplaces
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health released an order that requires all Ohioans to stay at home between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless they are engaging in designated “Protected Activities” or “Essential Activities”. Governor Mike DeWine first announced the order on Tuesday. The order takes effect immediately and expires on December 10, 2020.
Dubbed the “Stay at Home Tonight Order”, the new directive does not directly require that any businesses cease operation – as was the case with the previous Stay at Home Order from March. The new order permits individuals to leave their homes during the restricted hours to “engage in employment, including volunteer work.” Of course, those businesses that rely on in-person customer interaction, such as bars, restaurants, and recreational facilities, will be the most affected.
Other Protected Activities or Essential Activities under the order include:
Health and Safety – travel to the doctor’s office, pharmacy, or veterinarian;
Necessary Supplies – travel to buy groceries, cleaning supplies, or other items necessary to maintain a residence;
Social Services – travel to obtain social services provided by places like food banks or day care facilities; and
Care for Others – travel to care for family members or friends.
The order comes as several local health departments took their own actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As of November 20, health departments in Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Medina, and Summit counties had all issued similar versions of a stay at home advisory. The advisories, which are not legally binding, ask individuals to “stay at home to the greatest extent possible,” and to avoid holding indoor or outdoor gatherings. If you have questions about how the advisories affect your employees working in any of these counties, please contact a KWW professional.
Ohio’s curfew order is the second significant order from the Department of Health in as many weeks. In a prior update, we wrote about the state’s enhanced efforts to enforce mask mandates in retail establishments.
Ohio joins several other states in implementing new measures to combat the explosion of COVID-19 cases. This week Michigan limited gatherings to no more than 10 people and required mask wearing at all gatherings; Pennsylvania required masks to be worn at all times when outside the home; and Indiana enhanced its penalties for businesses found not to be enforcing the state’s policy on masks.
As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, we encourage you to contact any of our KWW professionals with any questions you may have regarding new health orders or other workplace matters. As always, your workforce is our priority.