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New ODH Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating

On April 5, 2021, Stephanie McCloud, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, in a further attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19, issued a new order concerning social distancing, facial coverings, and non-congregating.

Facial Coverings - required at all times when:

  1. in any indoor location that is not a residence;

  2. outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their family/household; or

  3. waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, care service, or a ride sharing vehicle (does not apply to private or rental vehicles where members of a family/household are sharing a vehicle).

Facial coverings are excepted under 16 different circumstances, including, for an individual under 10 years old, and where a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability contraindicates the wearing of a facial covering.

Congregating - Individuals must avoid gathering in groups and attempt at all times to maintain social distancing. When gather together, individuals should be in a group of no more than 10 individuals and separated from other groups by at least six feet. Each individual should perform a daily health assessment and stay home if they have a fever, cough, or other signs of possible infection.

Social Distancing Requirements - Including maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow - not hands), regularly cleaning high-tough surfaces, and not shaking hands.


  1. Hand washing or sanitization upon entry to facility;

  2. Use sanitizer products that meet CDC guidelines;

  3. Have sanitizer available throughout businesses and organized events for employees and patrons; and

  4. Routine disinfection of high-contact surfaces, desk workstations, restrooms, and equipment.

Large Gatherings - Organizers and managers should conduct the event in a manner that discourages individuals from standing or sitting close together in buildings or on other parts of the grounds or premises. Where possible, the organizers and managers should provide one-way traffic in buildings or other areas, where doing so will help people maintain social distancing.

Signage - All businesses and organized gatherings, where possible, shall post clearly visible signage at all entrances to each of their grounds or premises requiring all persons entering to wear a facial covering. The text shall state that all persons are required to wear a facial covering and engage in social distancing at all times in or on the grounds or premises. Such signage is available for download here.

The order also covers exhibitions, competitions, and auctions, fixed seating, buildings, food and beverages, and how to handle confirmed cases. The order is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until the Director rescinds or modifies it.

The full order can be accessed here.

***UPDATE*** An updated order was published on April 8, 2021, and can be accessed here.

Employers are advised to consult with their legal counsel regarding specific questions or concerns. If you have any questions, or need assistance, please feel free to contact Jeremy D. Iosue or Jason T. Hartzell at (216) 651-0451.

This Employment Law Alert may provide an overview of specific federal and/or state laws and regulations. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular situation or individual.

Copyright © 2021 Stefanik Iosue & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.



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