Mandatory Face Mask Policies in Ohio

Not long ago, the only time most of us thought of wearing a face mask was at a Halloween Party. Oh, how times have changed!

With recent spikes in new cases of the Coronavirus, some local governments throughout Ohio have implemented mandatory facial covering policies. Yesterday (July 7) Governor DeWine, during a press conference, ordered that effective July 8 at 6:00 p.m., anyone in a public space must wear a face covering if within a county designated as a “red” Level 3 Public Emergency by the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

In light of these recent developments, OCA has received multiple calls from members with the primary question or concern being whether our existing distancing and face mask policies, developed in concert with the Governor’s office, ODOT and the Ohio Department of Health will take precedent over local policies. Initially, it appears the mask policy issue will be a “moving target”, depending on increases and/or containment of new Coronavirus cases.

To assist OCA members in navigating this changing landscape of regulations, we enlisted our labor attorneys, Bob Dunlevey and Nadia Lampton, of Taft Law to draft an informational guide on the latest face mask policies throughout Ohio. The article can be accessed here. We have also prepared a “Construction Industry Mask Exemption Letter” that can be prepared on company letterhead and made available to local governments who have implemented policies, and who may inspect your project sites. The letter can be accessed here.

The OCA will continue to monitor this important issue and keep our membership advised of future developments and/or changes.