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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Governor Mike DeWine unveiled his plan to reopen the state of Ohio on Monday and in it specified that citizens need to be wearing masks.

According to state officials, face coverings are required for employees and clients/customers at all times.

“Wearing face coverings won’t happen forever, but if we want to get back to work, we have to protect our employees,” said Governor DeWine. “To not wear masks would be negligent and a mistake. We have to protect these employees.”

State leaders say the business task force proposed the idea that Ohioans wear face coverings while in businesses in an effort to protect both employees and customers.

“They want employees and customers to come back and they know the more confidence you can build in your workforce and with consumers, the more business they will have,” explained Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “We’re not mandating that you wear masks when you walk out of your house to see your neighbor, but we recommend it.”

Wearing masks protects you and those around you. When you cough or sneeze, droplets spread through the air. The light droplets will go farther, and the heavier ones will fall from the air. With COVID-19 you are spreading various-sized particles that will travel 6-10 feet based on environmental circumstances. Face coverings help prevent you from spreading these particles.

However, state officials reiterate that wearing face coverings is not a substitute for social distancing. Stacking interventions is necessary to maintain Ohioans’ safety.

Governor DeWine says businesses that reopen need to employ safe practices. He has released a list of principles guiding the Responsible Restart Ohio plan.

Ohio’s Safe Business Practices for Getting Back to Work:

  1. No mask, no work, no service, no exception. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times. 
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.”
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Establish maximum capacity at 50% of fire code and, use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion. 

Click here for more on Responsible Restart Ohio.

Click here for more on the State of Ohio’s COVID-19 Responsible Protocols for Getting Back to Work.