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September 18, 2020

Understanding the Governor's Facial Mask Order

Late last night, the Governor’s Office released the Director’s Order for Facial Coverings throughout the State of Ohio, a copy of which can be found HERE.  The Order went into effect last night at 6:00 PM and continues until further notice by the Governor and/or Ohio Department of Health.  Importantly, the Order requires all individuals within the state to wear face masks at all times when:

  • In any indoor location that is not a residence;
  • Outdoors and unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from individuals who are not members of their family/household; or
  • Waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation, a taxi, car service, or a ride sharing vehicle. This does not apply to private or rental vehicles where members of a family/household are sharing a vehicle. 

The Order also outlines 16 different exemptions to the face mask requirements, the most relevant for dealerships include:

  • The individual is under the age of 10;
  • A medical condition including those with respiratory conditions that restrict breathing, mental health conditions, or disability contraindicates the wearing of a facial covering;
  • The individual is communicating or seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired or has another disability, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;
  • 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 all other individuals, and in either case the space is not intended for use or access by the public;
  • Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards or business’ documented safety policies; or
  • 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. 

Please note that this Order expands on when face masks should (and should not) be worn at the dealership.  As a result, each dealership should review the Order and determine what changes may need to be made to its current practices.  For example, dealership employees may have to start wearing face masks when they are on the dealership lot talking with customers about particular vehicles because it will be difficult to consistently maintain a 6-foot distance.  Additionally, staff on the showroom floor may be required to wear face masks at all times because the space is intended to be used or accessed by the public.  Moreover, technicians who are working by themselves in service bays and are separated by at least 6-feet in all directions may not have to wear face masks unless those conditions change. 

In addition to the face mask requirement, dealerships are still required to follow the social distancing requirements and General COVID-19 information as outlined in previous orders.  To assist employers, the State has prepared a template sign to post outlining the face mask requirement which can be found HERE

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact OADA legal counsel, Sara Bruce or Matt Chacey.  Sara can be reached at (614) 923-2243 or sbruce@oada.com.  Matt can be reached at (614) 923-2232 or mchacey@oada.com.