Clarification on Essential vs Non-Essential Businesses
There has been a lot of confusion around Governor DeWine’s Stay-At-Home Order in regards to how to determine whether or not your business is “essential” or “non-essential.”
Statement from Ohio Department of Health Environmental Health Bureau Chief, Gene Phillips
“The Governor and Director of Health want to promote and protect the health of Ohioans. While, the Governor’s and Director’s Orders establish the spirit and parameters of Ohio’s response, it is impossible to anticipate all situations or provide individual responses to all questions. Businesses need to use their best judgment and make a good-faith decision. If you have questions whether your business is essential, please consult the Order for the list of essential businesses. If you have further questions about your specific business, please consult your trade association or lawyer. Many trade associations and lawyers are issuing guidance. These are complex times and it is important that we all take measures to flatten the curve. If you have any doubts about the status of your business, please consider temporarily closing your business to stay home and stop the spread of COVID-19.”
How to determine whether your business is essential or non-essential
1. Consult the Order (see below)
2. Consult your legal counsel to discuss application to your business
3. If you determine that your business is “essential” under the Stay At Home Order and you plan to stay open, the Wayne County Health Department is requesting that businesses do the following:
4. Email a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your business name, location, line of business and cite the section of the Director’s order that deems you essential.
*This request excludes healthcare, and public health, government, law enforcement, and first responders, food and agricultural, energy production, water and wastewater, transportation, public works, communication and IT. These lines of business do not need to send the requested documentation.
Even if a business is essential, they still must adhere to the Social Distancing Requirements (pg 8) in the Order to the greatest extent possible.
1. Designate six foot distances using signage, tape or other means for customers and employees to maintain appropriate distance
2. Having hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employers and customers
3. Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations. Implementing separate hours for elderly and vulnerable customers
4. Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and continue services by phone or remotely.