COVID-19: Ohio issues stay-at-home order, allows only essential businesses

 In Employees, Human Resources, Managing COVID-19, Safety

On Sunday, March 22nd, under the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH issued a director’s order to require all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 beginning at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. This order prohibits holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. Residents can return home from out of state and can leave the state.

Read the frequently asked questions regarding this order, provided by the Ohio Department of Health.

You can also download the official order here.


When does the order take effect?
The order will take effect at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23rd

Where does the Stay at Home order apply?
The director’s order includes the entire state. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home. Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible.

Is this mandatory or just guidance?
This order is mandatory. To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Ohio and protect our friends, neighbors, and vulnerable populations, please stay home.

Will the Ohio National Guard be enforcing this order?
No. The Ohio National Guard will not be enforcing this order.

Is my business deemed essential? Can I still operate in my physical location?

Read the full list of what is considered an essential business in the order.

I work in an essential service. How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?
Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or just taking a walk. People gathering in any size group may be asked to physically distance themselves or go home. Ohioans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Ohioan to do their part. We are in this together.

Will grocery stores be open?
Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:
• Grocery stores
• Gas stations
• Pharmacies
• Police stations
• Fire stations
• Hospitals, clinics and healthcare operations
• Garbage/sanitation
• Public transportation
• Public benefits (i.e. SNAP, Medicaid) hotlines

Will public transportation and ridesharing be available?
Public transportation and ridesharing should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk, or drive yourself.

Will roads in Ohio be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed in Ohio. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.

Can I take a flight out of state?
Planes and any other form of travel should only be used for essential purposes.

What is the difference between the Stay at Home order and social distancing?
Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions. The Stay at Home order requires people to remain in their homes unless they have an essential job or are doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet.


Read more FAQs here.

Need help navigating COVID-19 for your business? Learn more about our HR Pros through HR On Demand today.


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