Mar 22, 2020

Governor DeWine Issued “Stay at Home” Order

Alert | Public Law Alert

Governor Mike DeWine’s Health Director Amy Acton issued a “Stay at Home” order today which goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 23rd and stays into effect until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 6th.  

The order requires individuals to stay home unless leaving for an essential activity, essential government functions, or essential business or operations. The Stay at Home order defines those activities as:

1. Essential Activities – (a) to seek essential medical care or medical supplies; (b) to obtain supplies for yourself or others, including groceries, household consumer products, automobile supplies (including repair & maintenance), and products necessary for safey & sanitation of the home; (c) to engage in outdoor activities provided that social distancing requirements are being followed (but playgrounds are closed); or (d) to take care of others.

2. Essential Governmental Functions – includes public safety personnel, the judiciary, the legislature, public welfare entities and the military. Each municipality, township, county, political subdivision, or other agency of government must decide what are the essential services that provide for the  health, safety and welfare of the public.

3. Essential Businesses or Operations include:  

  • Healthcare & Public Health Operations
  • Essential Infrastructure – this includes food/medicine production & distribution, construction projects, building management and maintenance and maintenance of utilities.
  • Human Services Operations
  • CISA List
  • Stores that sell groceries & medicine
  • Food, beverage and licensed marijuana production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Religious entities
  • Media Entities
  • Gas stations or businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial institutions and insurance institutions.
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades
  • Mail, post, shipping logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions whose purpose is facilitating distance learning
  • Laundry Services
  • Restaurants/bars for consumption off premises
  • Businesses that sell supplies that support people working from home
  • Business that sell supplies or support other essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation services 
  • Professional Services – including legal, accounting and real estate services
  • Labor Unions for critical functions
  • Hotels & Motels
  • Funeral services
  • Minimum Business Operations – allows employees to work in non-essential businesses if they are carrying out operations to maintain the value of a business’s inventory, preserving the condition of the physical plant, providing security, processing payroll/benefits.  The order also allows the minimum activities necessary to support employees working from home.

The order also places a restriction on all travel unless for an essential purpose, including traveling for any of the activities listed above, to or for the elderly, minors, or other vulnerable people, to pick up educational supplies for distance learning or meals, to a residence outside the jurisdiction, pursuant to a court order such as child custody orders or for residents to return to their place of residence in state. 

Employers and businesses that are continuing operations are required to:

  • Allow employees when possible to work from home
  • Encourage sick employees to stay home until free of fever
  • Ensure that sick leave policies are up to date and flexible to allow employees to take care of themselves and family
  • Separate employees that appear to have respiratory illness form others until they can be sent home
  • Frequently perform enhanced cleaning. 

This order can be enforced by law enforcement or local health departments.  

The Governor also announced changes for local day care centers. Beginning Thursday, any day care center operating will have to be operating under a pandemic license with stricter rules including limits of only six children per room. The Governor also requested that the General Assembly pass legislation cancelling all required standardized testing for the 2019/2020 school year.  

The Ohio General Assembly will meet this week and to address a variety of issues including (a) providing local governments flexibility to meet remotely; (b) rescheduling the March 17th primary; (c) granting the Governor additional emergency powers and (d) providing additional guidance to school districts. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Should businesses want additional information about resources available through the state of Ohio, visit the Resources for Economic Support website here. This site includes information on the SBA loans, BWC premium accommodations, grace periods for health insurance premiums along with other programs.

If you have any questions about this order, please contact us, or to see past advice and guidance, visit our website at 

Click here to download a copy of the Stay At Home Order, a copy of the FAQ that has been released by the state, and a copy of the CISA list referenced in the order.

View PDF