A: The order provides a lengthy list of what constitutes Essential Businesses and Operations: Stores selling groceries and medicine; food, beverage, and licensed marijuana production and agriculture; organizations providing charitable and social services; religion entities; media, including newspapers, televisions, radio, and other media services; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial and insurances institutions; funeral services; and more. Also included in this category are “First Amendment protected speech” (though with no specific guidance as to the meaning of this phrase); hardware and supply stores; laundry services; restaurants providing off-premises consumption; supplies to work from home and supplies supporting Essential Businesses and Operations; hotels and motels; and professional services, including attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, and real estate professionals. Finally, the order includes in this definition all Essential Businesses and Operations described as such in a March 19, 2020 memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Security Agency. That memorandum is available here.
The amended order, signed April 2, 2020 by Ohio’s Director of Public Health, Dr. Amy Action, states that single-person businesses may continue to operate as an essential business “so long as all safe workplace safety standards are met.”
The amended order clarifies that the prior exception allowing travel to obtain necessary supplies and services includes boats. It further states that this exception allows continued operation of showrooms for automobiles and boats, as well as delivery of both. Finally, it explicitly allows persons to access self-storage facilities. Garden centers and nurseries are now specifically included with hardware and supply stores as being authorized to continue operating.
Business focused on recreation should note the amended order specifically prohibits multiple additional categories of activities. This includes the complete prohibition of “[r]ecreational sports tournaments, organized recreational leagues, residential and day camps.” All pools, public or private, must be closed except for swimming pools for a single home. All campgrounds must be closed, although persons living in recreational vehicles who have “no other viable place of residence” may continue to live at a campground. Wedding receptions may have no more than ten persons in attendance; however, weddings and funerals are not subject to that limitation.