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Ohio's 'stay at home' order: What businesses are considered 'essential?'

Posted at 7:53 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 18:15:35-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions here.

On Sunday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine signed an official "stay at home" order for the state of Ohio, effectively closing what his order said are "nonessential businesses." The order went into effect at midnight Monday night and will last until April 6.

The order requires all Ohioans to stay home or "shelter in place," with a few exceptions: The order allows people to leave their homes for "essential activities" like going to the grocery, seeking medical services, or seeking any supplies or services deemed "essential," outdoor activity like walks, and going to work.

For businesses that are considered "essential" and allowed to remain open, DeWine has mandated that social distancing and a six-foot distance between each employee be enforced. In addition, employers must supply hand sanitizer and sanitizing products for both employees and customers. Businesses allowed to remain open must also provide separate hours of operation for vulnerable populations.

Governors Beshear and Holcomb have not issued shelter in place orders for Kentucky and Indiana. Anyone who lives or works across state lines will still be able to travel for work if necessary.

Here is a breakdown of businesses considered "essential" in the Stay Home Order:

  • CISA List -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a list of critical businesses and operations that are considered important in order to keep the country running. All of the businesses listed below are included in the CISA List.
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine: Grocery stores, pharmacies, farmers markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores. Any businesses crucial to the supply chain of these businesses are also included.
  • Food, beverage and licensed marijuana production and agriculture: Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing and cultivation including farming; medical marijuana dispensaries and licensed medical marijuana production and cultivation; businesses that provide food, shelter and other necessities for farming and raising animals including animal shelters, rescues, kennels and adoption facilities.
  • Charitable and social services: Religious and nonprofit organizations like food banks, shelters, social services and other necessities for economically disadvantaged individuals who need assistance as a result of the emergency, and people living with disabilities.
  • Religious entities: Religious facilities, religious gatherings, weddings and funerals.
  • Media: Newspapers, television, radio and other media services.
  • First amendment protected speech
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation: Gas stations, auto supply, auto repair, farm equipment, construction equipment, boat repair, bicycle shops and related facilities.
  • Financial and insurance institutions: Banks, currency exchanges, consumer lenders, pawnbrokers, consumer installment lenders, sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, payday lenders, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, institutions selling financial products and related institutions; Insurance companies, underwriters, agents, brokers and related insurance claims and agency services.
  • Hardware and supply stores: Hardware stores and businesses that sell electrical, plumbing and heating material.
  • Critical trades: Building and construction tradespeople; other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services; other businesses that provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residents and other essential businesses.
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services: Post offices, businesses providing shipping and delivery services, businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, goods, vehicles or services to end users or through commercial channels.
  • Educational institutions: Public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges and universities -- This does not supersede or change DeWine's previous order regarding the closure of schools.
  • Laundry services: Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services and laundry service providers.
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises: Restaurants and other facilities that serve food, as long as they are complying with the previous order that no customers are eating on the premises. Only for take-out or delivery purposes.
  • Supplies to work from home: Businesses that sell, manufacture or supply products needed for people to work from home.
  • Supplies for other essential businesses: Businesses that sell, manufacture or supply other essential businesses with material necessary to operate, like computers, audio and video equipment, household appliances, IT and telecommunication, hardware, paint, flat glass, electrical, plumbing and heating material, sanitary equipment, personal hygiene products, food, food additives, ingredients and components, medical and orthopedic equipment, optics and photography equipment, diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergents, firearms and ammunition suppliers and retailers.
  • Transportation: Airlines, taxis, transportation network providers like Uber and Lyft, vehicle rental services, paratransit, marinas, docks, boat storage and other commercial transportation and logistics.
  • Home-based care and services: Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, mental illness and caregivers like nannies who may provide childcare in the child's home, meal delivery services.
  • Residential facilities and shelters: Residential facilities and shelters for adults, seniors, children, pets, people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders and mental illness.
  • Professional services: Legal services, accounting services, insurance services and real estate services.
  • Manufacture, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries: Companies that manufacture or distribute essential products for industries like pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, healthcare, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, mining, construction, national defense and communications.
  • Critical labor union functions: Labor union essential activities including the administration of health and welfare funds and personnel checking on the well-being and safety of members providing services within an essential business provided the well-being checks are done remotely or by telephone when possible.
  • Hotels and motels: To the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services.
  • Funeral services: Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery and related services.