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Ohio’s “Stay At Home” Order in Response to COVID-19 Ohio’s “Stay At Home” Order in Response to COVID-19

Ohio’s “Stay At Home” Order in Response to COVID-19

Ohio’s Department of Health, under the direction of Dr. Amy Acton, issued a "Stay at Home" Order on March 22, 2020 (“Order”) requiring all individuals residing in Ohio to remain at home unless they engage in essential activities, perform essential government functions, or operate essential businesses. These activities are specifically defined in the Order and are discussed below. The Order was enacted to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) in Ohio and goes into effect on March 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. until April 6, 2020.

The Order requires individuals performing non-essential activities to remain at home and engage in social distancing practices, including keeping at least a six feet distance from others and working remotely when possible. Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited, in accordance with the federal guidelines issued on March 16, 2020.

Residents are permitted to leave their homes for the following “essential activities:
  • Health and Safety: Activities related to health and safety include seeking emergency services, purchasing medical supplies or medication, and visiting a doctor or other health care professional.
  • Necessary Supplies and Services: Residents are allowed to leave their homes to obtain necessary supplies for themselves or others, which include but are not limited to, groceries, household consumer products, and equipment they may need as a result of working from home.
  • Outdoor activity: As long as residents practice social distancing, they may go outdoors to exercise and visit public parks.
  • Take Care of Others: Residents may leave to take care of family members or friends in another household and to attend weddings and funerals.
  • Engage in Essential Business Operations: Those who provide essential products and services, including but not limited to: health care, human services, essential government functions and infrastructure, are permitted to leave their homes for these purposes.
All businesses, which are deemed “non-essential,” must cease all activities except to maintain minimum basic operations with appropriate social distancing practices. Minimum basic operations include activities to maintain the value of inventory, preserve the condition of a physical plant and equipment, maintain security of the premises, and process payroll and employee benefits.

However, non-essential entities that may continue their business remotely, including home-based businesses, can continue to operate.

The Order specifically defines which types of businesses are considered essential, including Health Care and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Government Functions, and Essential Infrastructure. Essential businesses include the following:
  • Grocery stores and convenience stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Pet stores
  • Food and beverage manufacturers
  • Medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Animal shelters, kennels and adoption facilities
  • Food banks
  • Religious facilities
  • Wedding services
  • Funeral services
  • Media outlets, including newspapers, television and radio
  • Gas stations
  • Transportation repair facilities, including auto repair and bicycle shops
  • Banks, credit unions, title companies, payday lenders
  • Insurance companies
  • Hardware stores that sell electrical, plumbing and heating materials
  • Cleaning and janitorial staff
  • Security services
  • Mail and post offices
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for carry-out or delivery only
  • Manufacturers and supply chain for critical products and industries, including healthcare, sanitation, national defense, mining and technology
  • Transportation, including airlines, taxies, Uber/Lyft and other public transportation providers
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, children or people with developmental disabilities
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Legal, accounting and real estate services
  • Labor unions
  • Hotels and motels
  • Essential state and local government offices, including law enforcement
  • Public works (trash, water and recycling)
The Stay at Home order is available here: Ohio Department of Health Stay at Home Order, and the FAQs published by the Ohio Department of Health are available here: FAQs. To stay up to date with the latest laws and orders, please visit Ice Miller’s COVID-19 Resource Center, available here:

Ice Miller LLP attorneys can recommend measures your business should implement to minimize legal risk and respond effectively to executive orders and laws enacted relating to COVID-19. For further information, please contact the Ice Miller COVID-19 Task Force for more information and guidance.
This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.
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