COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Ohio’s new retail mask order was officially signed Friday and is set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine first announced the new mask order during his coronavirus address to the state on Wednesday.
“Every retail employee has the right to work in an environment that is as safe as can be, which means all customers must wear masks,” DeWine said in a statement issued Friday. “Further, each Ohioan who goes out to shop has the right to know that every store they enter will be safe and the people they encounter in that store will be wearing a mask. We know that masks work. They are the easiest, most cost-effective way to limit the spread of COVID-19.”
Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance Himes signed the order Friday.
Any business not found to be in compliance with the mask order could be shut down for a maximum of 24 hours in order for the virus to dissipate inside the business.
The order was signed on a day when Ohio recorded a new record of daily COVID-19 cases, surpassing 8,000 daily cases for the first time since the pandemic began in March.
This order does not apply to restaurants, bars, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, body piercing locations, tanning facilities, gyms, dance instruction studios, or personal fitness venues because these businesses have their own separate health orders.
This order restates that everyone 10 years-old or older must wear a facial covering when in a retail store and includes the following provisions:
- 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.
The enforcement process for the order will follow the procedure below:
- 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).