Ohio set to begin phased reopening Friday, May 1

Gov. Mike DeWine announced, during his daily briefing on Monday, April 27, that he would begin reopening Ohio’s economy over the next two weeks. Certain businesses and services, including healthcare, will begin reopening as soon as Friday, May 1. Other businesses, such as construction and manufacturing, will be permitted to reopen on May 4, with additional openings scheduled for May 12. Despite Gov. DeWine reopening certain parts of the state’s economy, stay-at-home requirements will remain in effect, mass gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited, and bars, hair salons, restaurants and daycares will remain closed.

  • Friday, May 1 – All non-essential medical procedures at hospitals that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed to resume.
  • Monday, May 4 – All construction, distribution and manufacturing businesses that were not permitted to continue operations during the Ohio stay-at-home order will be allowed to reopen. General offices classified as non-essential will also be allowed to reopen.
  • Tuesday, May 12 – Consumer, retail and service businesses may resume operations.

All businesses that reopen must adhere to social distancing, hygiene and cleaning requirements to protect employees, customers and their families. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued mandatory and best practice guidelines for reopening each sector. The Responsible Restart Ohio initiative aims to ensure that businesses are reopening in a safe and healthy manner. The following is a description of the guidelines issued by ODH and a link to each sector’s guidelines.

  • Manufacturing, Distribution & Construction – Employees, distributors and guests are required to keep at least six feet between people and install barriers when possible. Employees must perform daily symptom assessments and remain home if symptomatic. Employers should also ensure that all employees are wearing face coverings and participating in regular handwashing. Additionally, arrivals of employees and guests should be staggered and employers should encourage personnel to work from home when possible. It is also required that shift patterns be changed to accommodate for fewer shifts and staggered lunch and break times. Physical spaces should have an established maximum capacity and be disinfected daily.
  • Consumer, Retail & Services – Employees are required to ensure a minimum of six feet between people, perform daily symptom assessments, remain home if symptomatic, wear face coverings, and regularly wash hands. Additionally, employers should place hand sanitizers in high-contact locations and require that high-touch items be disinfected after each use (e.g. shopping carts). Customers should wear face coverings while shopping and refrain from visiting if they suffer from potential COVID-19 symptoms. For further protection in physical spaces, businesses should post social distancing signage, clean merchandise before stocking when possible, and discontinue food stations, food courts and product samples.
  • General Office Environments – Employees working in a closed office environment should take steps in addition to remaining six feet apart and performing daily symptom assessments, such as reducing sharing of work materials, limiting travel as much as possible, and staggering the arrival of all employees. Additionally, desks, workstations, and common areas should be disinfected frequently. Employers should establish a maximum capacity of employees allowed in the office at one time and cancel/postpone all in person events when social distancing guidelines cannot be met. If any employees are confirmed to be COVID-19 positive, the employer should immediately isolate the individual, contact the local health district, and shut down the floor for deep sanitation.

McDonald Hopkins has a team of professionals dedicated to assisting businesses experiencing financial distress as a result of the coronavirus. Click here for a list of articles focused on providing legal and business solutions to the impact of the coronavirus on your business.

If you need assistance or have any questions with respect to Ohio’s phased reopening or if your business can reopen under the current guidelines, please contact one of the attorneys listed below.

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