COLUMBUS — In what seems to be the final steps to get Ohio’s economy back up and running, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued dates and times for other industries to reopen in the state. Just like for the previous sectors, rules and regulations must be followed.
Ohio Gov. DeWine, along with Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, announced on June 5 that business sectors such as casinos, racinos, amusement parks and water parks are permitted to reopen.
Along with the announcement, Gov. DeWine also authorized the operation of the Memorial Golf Tournament that is scheduled to be held July 13 through the 19.
“In all of these cases, these sectors have come up with plans that reduce the number of people, provide for sanitation and in some cases, provide for one-way traffic,” Gov. DeWine said. “They are elaborate plans that we believe are consistent with protecting the public.”
Just as it was the case with the previous re-openings, the mentioned business sectors are represented by an advisory group with 16 names listed by the Ohio Department of Health. Members include Matt Schuler, of Ohio Casino Control; George Goldhoff, of Hard Rock International; Matt Redfield, of the Ohio Development Service Agency; and Dayton-Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper.
Along with an advisory group, the state has listed several mandatory requirements that establishments must follow during their reopening. For employees, customers and others, social distancing of at least six feet must be enforced and followed.
All individuals must also practice safe healthy habits, such as frequently cleaning surfaces, hand washing and sanitizing. Monitoring of compliance must also be a routine.
For employees, if an individual is able to work from home remotely, they must do so if they are equipped. Establishments must also conduct daily symptom assessments of employees and if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they must be sent home and follow up with a personal physician.
Along with the assessments and working operations, employees are also required to wear facial coverings while conducting business. However, certain circumstances allow for employees to work without the necessity of a mask.
With facial covering requirements, depending on the individual’s responsibilities, gloves are required as well. Establishments are required to maintain a hand-washing routine for employees. Mandatory rules state employees must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Hand washing must be done after activities such as using the restroom, eating and drinking, smoking, entering and leaving the game floor and using shared equipment and touching high-contact surfaces.
In the essence of guests and customers, reopening establishments must allow for specific hours for at-risk individuals. Businesses must also allow and encourage patrons to wear facial coverings to help limit the spread of the virus as requested by public health orders.
Businesses are required to post notices around and near facility entrances, advising guests entering the building that they are within good health standards and have not been in contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19.
For the facilities themselves, some amenities are to remain closed during the slow-segmented re-openings. Services such as valet, coat check, poker, concerts, live events, conferences and banquets will be unavailable.
Facilities are also required to strategize and enforce social distancing requirements in certain areas such as signage, queuing, slot machines, table games, racing, retail and food and beverage services.
For the Memorial Golf Tournament this year, the event was just recently given state support to allow patrons to attend. The organization published a press release stating that it supports the efforts made by Gov. DeWine, Lt. Gov. Husted and Dr. Acton.
“Their implemented plan has produced encouraging results and allowed for the slow process of opening the state to business and gradually allowing Ohioans to return to a level of normalcy, including the ability to permit patrons at this year’s Memorial,” the organization stated.
It added that it plans to be the example for all public gathering events to follow during the uncertain times of COVID-19.