COLUMBUS, Ohio — All businesses reopening in Ohio will require masks for employees and customers “at all times,” Gov. Mike DeWine said Monday.
The governor, who laid out the first three phases of the state’s reopening on Monday, issued five mandated protocols for businesses as they reopen.
Among the mandates: Mandatory face coverings. “No mask, no work, no service. No exceptions,” a protocol from the governor’s office reads.
That doesn't mean that Ohioans need to wear masks when leaving the home, state officials said. But when entering businesses, masks are required.
"We're not mandating that you wear masks when you walk out of your house to see your neighbor, but we recommend it," DeWine said. "Wearing face coverings won't happen forever, but if we want to get back to work, we have to protect our employees. To not wear masks would be negligent and a mistake. We have to protect these employees."
State officials said the idea for mandatory masks came from the state's business task force.
"They want employees and customers to come back and they know the more confidence you can build in your workforce and with consumers, the more business they will have," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.
All businesses reopening must follow five protocols. Those protocols are as follows:
- Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times.
- Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluated) to determine if “fit for duty."
- Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand-washing and social distancing
- Clean and sanitize workplaces through workday and at the close of business or between shifts
- Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code, and use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.
- DeWine unveiled his plan to reopen the state’s economy, laying out hard dates when certain businesses may resume.
"There are a lot of moving parts here," DeWine said Monday. "This is the beginning, but to continue to move forward – without falling back and having a huge spike in cases – there are a lot of things everyone can do to decrease the impact and get people back to work."