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    DeWine announces statewide facial covering requirement and travel advisory

    On July 22, 2020, Governor DeWine announced a statewide facial covering requirement and a new travel advisory for states with a high rate of infection of COVID-19.

    Statewide facial covering mandate

    Governor DeWine announced a statewide facial covering requirement in public places effective July 23, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. He noted that when the public health advisory system is updated, it will include more Level 3 (red) counties. Currently, there are 19 Level 3 counties. Governor DeWine said that early signs show the spread of the virus is slowing in counties already classified as Level 3 – where facial covering mandates are in effect. Based on those results and the growing number of Level 3 counties, the Governor said that he feels now is the time to require masks.

    Justifying the order, Governor DeWine said, “the jury's back. The verdict's in. Masks work.”

    The order imposing a statewide mask mandate is not yet available for review. The Governor said it will mirror the mask mandates for counties labeled Level 3 or higher. Under that order, masks are required in all indoor locations (not residential); outdoors when social distancing of six feet or more from persons who are not part of the individual’s household is not possible; or when waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, taxi, private car service or ride sharing vehicles unless:

    • The individual is under ten years of age.
    • A medical condition, mental health condition or disability contraindicates the wearing of a facial covering.
    • The individual is alone in an enclosed space, such as an office, or in lieu of an enclosed space, the individual is separated by at least six feet in all directions from other individuals, and in either case the space is not intended for use or access by the public.
    • The individual is actively engaged in exercise in a gym or indoor facility as long as six or more feet of separation between individuals exists.
    • The individual is actively participating in athletic practice or competition as permitted under a separate order.
    • The individual is actively engaged in a public safety capacity (e.g., police, fire, EMT).
    • Individual is seated and consuming food or beverage in a restaurant or bar.
    • Facial coverings are prohibited by law or regulation.
    • Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards.
    • Facial coverings are in violation of a business’s documented safety practices.
    • Individual is actively participating in broadcast communications.
    • Individual is an officiant of religious services.
    • In an industrial or manufacturing facility, employees are separated by at least six feet in all directions, or by a barrier in a manufacturing line or work area.

    We will advise if the coming order contains new provisions or exceptions.

    Travel advisory

    Governor DeWine also announced a new travel advisory. The advisory asks people, both residents and visitors, traveling from states and territories with high infection rates to self-quarantine for 14 days. This travel advisory currently applies to individuals returning to Ohio from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas. The updated map of travel advisory states can be found here.

    County fairs

    Governor DeWine noted how important county fairs are to Ohio’s youth and urged county fairs to follow guidance for COVID-19 safeguards. Citing anecdotes of some county fairs not following the guidance and subsequent increases in COVID-19 cases in those regions, Governor DeWine warned that county fairs need to be following guidance like any other entity in Ohio.


    This is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice and does not create or imply an attorney-client relationship.

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