Ohio’s COVID-19 health order to be removed June 2


ohio statehouse

UPDATE: In light of the recently issued guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that vaccinated persons no longer need to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health amended the statewide mask mandate. The revised order, issued May 17, 2021, states that all vaccinated persons (defined as two weeks following the second dose of a two-dose vaccination or two weeks following a one-dose vaccination) may resume activities without a mask, except when riding on public transportation, planes, trains and buses. Similarly, fully vaccinated individuals can resume all activities without social distancing or avoiding congregating.

Non-vaccinated individuals must follow requirements for masking, social distancing and prohibitions on congregating. The mask mandate is still in place for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, for schools and child care centers. The revised order contains the same exceptions to mask requirements as previous orders.

Individual businesses and employers can still require masks for entry into buildings. Moreover, local and county ordinances or health department orders can still be in effect and can still mandate the use of facial coverings.

On May 12, 2021, Governor Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans regarding Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders, stating that with the vaccine as a weapon to combat COVID-19, he is confident that it is time to rescind Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders. Therefore, the Department of Health will rescind all COVID-19 related health orders on June 2, 2021, except those relating to congregate living centers and nursing homes. The delay will allow individuals to get vaccinated before the health orders are removed.   

In addition to rescinding the COVID-19 health orders, Governor DeWine also announced two programs to incentivize adults and young adults to become vaccinated. Beginning May 26, 2021, adults who are vaccinated can enter into a drawing each week for five consecutive weeks for a chance to win $1 million, and young adults who are vaccinated can enter into a drawing for a chance to win a four-year scholarship to one of Ohio’s public universities. 

Governor DeWine’s address was scheduled and announced after Representative Scott Wiggam (R – Wayne County) stated that he and other Representatives would be introducing a concurrent resolution at 4:00 p.m. in the House to repeal all Department of Health orders relating to COVID-19. Representative Wiggam stated that the resolution would be ready for a vote on June 23, which is the date that Senate Bill 22 will become effective. Senate Bill 22, which was vetoed by Governor DeWine before the Legislature overrode his veto, confers the ability to the Ohio Legislature to pass a concurrent resolution with a simple majority to revoke Department of Health orders. 

We will continue to monitor this announcement and provide updates as we learn more regarding industry-specific issues.

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