Stay at Home Order Enforcement Underway in Montgomery County, Ohio

In COVID-19 Information Hub by Coolidge Wall

The Dayton Daily News reported this morning (April 1, 2020) that 270 Montgomery County sites are being investigated for failing to comply with Ohio’s Stay at Home Order.

The Dayton & Montgomery County Department of Public Health is sending letters to businesses covered by such complaints and are requesting that they provide information proving that they comply with the Stay at Home Order. Health inspectors also started visiting sites on Monday.

Specifically, responding businesses are going to be asked to submit: justification that the business meets the definition of essential businesses and operations; the measures the business has implemented to meet social distancing requirements; documentation that the above items have been communicated to all employees; and documentation that the business is following a seven-point checklist of actions the State proscribed to mitigate workplace spread of coronavirus:

1. Allow as many employees as possible to work from home by implementing policies in areas such as teleworking and video conferencing.

2. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever (without the use of medication) for at least 72 hours and symptoms have improved for at least 72 hours and at least seven days have passed since symptoms first began. Do not require a health-care provider’s note to validate the illness or return to work of employees sick with acute respiratory illness; health-care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.

3. Ensure that sick leave policies are up to date, flexible and nonpunitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children or other family members. Consider encouraging employees to do a self-assessment each day to check if they have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).

4. Separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered.

5. Reinforce key messages to stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene to all employees, and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.

6. Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, counter tops, railings, door handles and door knobs. Use the cleaning agents that are usually used in these areas and follow the directions on the label. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.

7. Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some operations).

Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper hopes that businesses will comply, but, “[i]n the event that there’s steadfast refusal to comply with the order, then we would go through our standard administrative process that would be engaging the county prosecutor’s office and looking for some type of injunctive relief through the court system,” he said. SOURCE: Dayton Daily News April 1, 2020

Complaints can come from employees or patrons, so local businesses continuing operations may want to pay special attention to the seven enforcement points.

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