Welcome to Ohio (But Only After 14 Days of Quarantine)
Nonresident Travel and Places Social Distancing Requirements on Stores, Among Other Changes
As cases of COVID-19 (a.k.a. the coronavirus) continue to increase throughout the United States, many states’ governors have decided to institute self-quarantine requirements for nonresidents entering their borders. On April 2, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio will do the same pursuant to an order by Dr. Amy Action, Director of the Ohio Department of Health.
The updated “Stay at Home” order requests that individuals entering Ohio with the intent to remain in the state practice self-quarantine for fourteen days. However, nonresidents who have tested positive for COVID-19, are presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are prohibited from entering the state unless their travel is for one of the following reasons:
- they are doing so under medical orders for the purposes of medical care;
- they are being transported by Emergency Medical Services (EMS); or
- they are traveling directly to a medical provider for purposes of initial care.
The order provides an exemption to those that regularly travel across the border for work or to gain essential services. Also exempt are health care workers, public health workers, public safety workers, transportation workers and designated essential workers. While the order does not specify how the travel restrictions will be enforced, it is clear that local law enforcement may enforce all aspects of the order to the extent allowed by law. A violation of the order is considered a misdemeanor of the second degree, which can include a fine of up to $750, 90 days in jail or both.
Other updates to the new order include:
- The creation of a dispute resolution process for situations where two local health departments have come to a different conclusion on what is or is not an essential business.
- The requirement that essential businesses determine and enforce a maximum number of customers allowed in a store at one time such that all persons may safely and comfortably maintain a six-foot distance from each other. Every store shall prominently display at every entrance the maximum capacity number and ensure that baskets, shopping carts and the like are properly cleaned between customers. These businesses must also maintain safe social distancing between people waiting to enter the stores.
- The mandate that wedding receptions be limited to no more than 10 people.
- A clarification to close campgrounds with the exception where a camper or recreational vehicle in a campground serves as a citizen's permanent residence and they are unable to secure safe alternative housing.
- The requirement that public swimming pools and swimming pools at private clubs or housing complexes close to prevent transmission of COVID-19. This does not apply to private residential pools.
- The clarification that retail garden centers can remain open but should determine and enforce a reduced capacity to keep customers and employees safe.
- The closure of day camps for children.
- The prohibition of organized youth and adult sports.
- The clarification that fishing is permitted if proper social distancing is practiced.
The order went into effect April 6 and will remain effective through May 1, 2020.
Should you have any questions regarding the updated Stay at Home order, please contact Mr. Bluhm.
Anna L. Crisp, a law clerk with Eastman & Smith who is finishing her third year at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, contributed to this article.
At the date of publication the above information was correct. It is quite possible the information above has changed as COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation.
The article in this publication has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.