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Director’s Order that Reopens Businesses, with Exceptions, and Continues a Stay Healthy and Safe at Home Order

I, Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio Depmiment of Health (ODH), pursuant to the authority granted to me in R.C. 3701.13 to “make special orders … for preventing the spread of contagious or infectious diseases” Order the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the State of Ohio:

1. Preamble: The sacrifices and incredible efforts that Ohioans have undertaken, make it possible to begin to lift the mandatory requirements and restrictions that were needed during the initial phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The adjustment of these orders is able to proceed based upon the facts and the science existing at this time in Ohio, however if the situation continues to improve, then more restrictions will be lifted, and if the situation deteriorates additional targeted restrictions will need to be made. While government can set the baseline, it should be understood that these orders set forth the minimum acts that must be taken and if people do more than the minimum to act safely, it will benefit everyone.

2. Business and operations to reopen. All businesses and operations in the State, except as defined below, are permitted to reopen within the State so long as all workplace safety standards are met. All businesses and operations, except as defined below, are encouraged to either reopen or remain open if they have not ceased operation during the prior Stay at Home Orders. Businesses and operations shall continue to comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Order, including by maintaining six-foot social distancing for both employees and members of the public at all times, including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.

3. Stay at home or place of residence. With exceptions as outlined below, all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence except as allowed in this Order. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces when outside their residence, they must at all times and as much as reasonably possible, maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person, with the exception of family or household members, consistent with the Social Distancing Requirements set forth in this Order. All persons may leave their homes or place of residence only to participate in activities, businesses or operations as permitted in this Order.

Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this Order, but are strongly urged to obtain shelter, and governmental and other entities are strongly urged to make such shelter available as soon as possible and to the maximum extent practicable (and to use in their operation COVID-19 risk mitigation practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Ohio Depaiiment of Health (ODH)). This order does not apply to incarcerated individuals. Incarcerated individuals are to follow the guidance of the facility in which they are confined. Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location. For purposes of this Order, homes or residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.

4. Prohibited activities. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household and connected property, or living unit and connected property are prohibited, except for the limited purposes permitted by this Order. Any gathering of more than ten people is prohibited unless exempted by this Order. This is in accordance with President Trump’s coronavirus guidelines issued March 16, 2020. Nothing in this Order prohibits the gathering of members of a household, family or residence. This Section does not apply to weddings and funerals, although wedding receptions are subject to the ten-person limitation. This Section does not apply to religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings. This Section does not apply to First Amendment protected speech, including petition or referendum circulators and any activity by the Media, which includes newspapers, television, radio and other media services.

5. Prohibited and permitted travel. People riding on public transit must comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the greatest extent feasible. This Order allows travel into or out of the State including travel that originates and ends outside of the state. However, persons entering the State with the intent to stay are asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days unless they are doing so for critical infrastructure or healthcare workforce purposes. For purposes of clarity this does not apply to persons who as part of their normal life live in one state and work or deliver services in another state. Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19, are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting the symptoms identified in the screening guidance available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Depaiiment of Health shall not enter the State, unless they are doing so under medical orders for the purposes of medical care, are being transported by Emergency Medical Services (EMS), are driving or being driven directly to a medical provider for purposes of initial care, or are a permanent resident of the State.

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