Ohio’s retail mask order: What you should know

Joey Shields, left, Josephine Gates, middle, and Shelley Gates wear masks as they shop at Liberty Center in Liberty Township on the first day most retail stores were allowed to open Tuesday, May 12, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Joey Shields, left, Josephine Gates, middle, and Shelley Gates wear masks as they shop at Liberty Center in Liberty Township on the first day most retail stores were allowed to open Tuesday, May 12, 2020. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A revised health order requiring Ohio retail stores to enforce mask-wearing in businesses went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

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Here’s what you should know about the order:

  • Anyone ages 10 and older must wear a mask or facial covering while in retail stores. Workers previously exempt from wearing a mask due to other health or safety guidelines are still exempt. Those who are unable to wear a mask due to developmental or health issues are also exempt.
  • Retailers must be able to accommodate those who are unable to wear a mask by offering online or telephone ordering; curbside or non-contact pick-up or delivery; or by allowing them to wear a face shield that extends below the chin.
  • Retailers must post signs about mask requirements and maximum capacity limits at all entrances. Signs should also include details about accommodations for those unable to wear masks.
  • Stores should have 6 feet separation markers in all check-out lines.
  • Hand sanitizer should be available in all high-contact areas.
  • Retailers must disinfect high-touch areas and equipment, such as shopping carts, baskets, etc., after each used.
  • Stores should have one-way aisles if needed to allow for social distancing.
  • Retailers must require workers to stay home if showing symptoms.
  • Stores should designate an on-site compliance officer for each location and each shift during all business hours to enforce mask requirements. Workers are required to enforce the order, but should not put themselves at risk of being injured or harmed in the process.
  • Retailers are to allow Ohio Department of Health and local health department representatives or law enforcement to inspect public areas during business hours.
  • If a retailer is found to be in violation of this order, law enforcement or state or local health department representatives will issue an initial warning to the business.
  • A notice of violation requiring the business to close immediately will be issued if a second violation is found. The business must close for no longer than 24 hours.
  • Any citizens witnessing non-compliance should call ODH at 1-833-4ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
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Gov. Mike DeWine announced the order Wednesday during a statewide broadcast about surging coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Ohio.

“I am very well aware of the burden this will place on employees and the owners," he said. "But, these are places where it is difficult or impossible to maintain mask-wearing, which we know now is the chief way of slowing this virus.”

The order does not apply to bars, restaurants, banquet and catering centers, hair salons, day spas, nail salons, tattoo and body piercing salons, tanning facilities, gyms, fitness centers or dance studios, as those businesses fall under previously-issued orders that are still in effect.

The full order and its details are available here.

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