State of Ohio Issues Urgent Health Advisory and Partial Rescission of “Stay at Home” Order

On May 20, 2020, the State of Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued an urgent health advisory (the “Advisory”), named “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans”, in which all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are recommended to continue to stay at home or at their place of residence to lower the rate of spread of COVID-19. A copy of the Advisory can be found here. Based on Governor DeWine’s press conference on May 19, 2020, the Advisory was meant to replace the “Stay Safe Ohio” Order (the “Order”) that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020, by providing recommendations that Ohioans stay at home as much as possible instead of mandating such limitations. Although Governor DeWine indicated that the Advisory would replace the Order, the Advisory does not expressly supersede the Order, so it is unclear the extent to which the Order may still be enforceable. Below are the primary highlights of the Advisory:

  • The Advisory provides that elderly individuals and individuals who are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to illness are “strongly urged” to stay in their residence except to seek medical care. These individuals include people over the age of 65 and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions. Furthermore, these individuals are “urged” to avoid places with large numbers of people and are encouraged to wear masks.
  • All other individuals are “advised” to take precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. As such, the Advisory also “recommends”, but does not require, that these individuals stay in their place of residence when possible.

UPDATE: On the same day, ODH also issued an order (the “Order”) that partially rescinded and modified the “Stay Safe Ohio” Order (the “Stay at Home Order”) that was issued by ODH on April 30, 2020.  Except as rescinded or modified by the Order, the Stay at Home Order remains in effect and legally enforceable. A copy of the Order can be found here. Below is a summary of the Order:

  • Section 3 of the Stay at Home Order, which required individuals in Ohio to stay at their place of residence except as otherwise permitted by the Stay at Home Order, was rescinded.
  • Section 5 of the Stay at Home Order, which required individuals traveling to Ohio from another state to quarantine for 14 days (excepting travel for work), was modified to restrict travel into Ohio only by individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have exhibited symptoms associated with COVID-19, as identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ODH.
    • This restriction does not apply to individuals who travel to Ohio for medical care or are otherwise a permanent resident of Ohio.
  • Section 15 of the Stay at Home Order, which allowed Ohio residents to travel from their place of residence only for limited purposes, was rescinded.

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