While Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has issued dates for some businesses and sectors to reopen in the state — health care on May 1; manufacturing, construction, distribution and general offices on May 4; and consumer and retail services on May 12 — as long as they follow outlined health and safety protocol, he and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton have continued to stress that unless you are working at or going to one of these businesses, you need to remain under a stay at home order.
That official Stay at Home order, issued in April, was to expire last night at 11:59 p.m. The state updated and extended it, with the new order continuing through 11:59 p.m. May 29.
The basic language allows the above businesses to reopen, "so long as all workplace safety standards are met." Non-essential retail that can operate by curbside pickup or by appointment shopping may open as early as today.
Otherwise, individuals are ordered to stay at home, unless they are doing things like seeking health care, getting groceries, going to the pharmacy, getting exercise outside or attending any of the newly reopening businesses. And if they leave their home, they need to maintain a social distance of at least six feet from those who are not household or family members. Individuals experiencing homelessness are exempt from this order, but are also urged to obtain shelter — and government and other entities are urged to make such shelter available.
The Intent of the Order is to "ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling additional day to day activities to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. When people need to leave their places of residence to perform or to otherwise facilitate authorized activities necessary for continuity of social and commercial life, they should at all times and as much as reasonably possible comply with Social Distancing Requirements. All provisions of this Order should be interpreted to effectuate this intent."
Here are some highlights of the order, which you can read in full here. But it's basically the same as the previous Stay at Home order, except now people can seek certain additional health care, restart certain jobs and go shopping at retail establishments starting May 12. Plus groups of no more than 10 can gather.
- All public or private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or connected property, or any gathering of more than 10 people is prohibited. This does not apply to weddings and funerals, although wedding receptions are limited to 10 people. This also does not apply to protected First Amendment speech.
- You are allowed to travel into or out of the state, but persons entering the state are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they are working for critical infrastructure or health care. This doesn't apply to people who cross state lines for normal life/work purposes.
- Businesses must require employees to wear facial coverings unless they meet one of a handful of reasons.
- Schools, restaurants and bars, personal appearance and beauty salons, adult day support or vocational habilitation services, older adult day care services and senior centers, child care services and entertainment/recreation/gymnasiums shall remain closed.
The order is enforceable and a violation is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree, which can include a fine of "not more than $750 or not more than 90 days in jail, or both."
Basically, continue to stay at home when and if you can.