Coronavirus: Clark County retailers must wear masks, social distance as they reopen

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Clark County restaurants, salons preparing to reopen

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Retailers in Clark County are allowed to reopen on Tuesday — with some requirements from the Ohio Department of Health.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced on April 27 that consumer and retail services could reopen as part of a rollback on his stay-at-home order.

The order implemented in March called for the closing of businesses not deemed essential. As a result, most retailers, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and day spas were temporarily closed while restaurants were asked to only provide carryout, delivery or curbside pickup.

As a condition of reopening, companies will be required to provide six-feet of distancing between employees or install barriers and allow for at least six-feet of distancing between customers. Daily disinfection of workspaces, establishment of maximum capacities for physical spaces, and placement of hand sanitizers in high traffic areas will be also be required, according to the ODOH.

All employees are also required to wear masks.

Champion City Guide & Supply is one retailer reopening on Tuesday. The store, located at 36 N. Fountain Ave. in Springfield, has been offering curbside pick up during the stay-at-home order.

“Truly can’t wait to be back!” a post on the retailer’s Facebook page said.

The Upper Valley Mall is also scheduled to reopen on Tuesday. However, it is unclear whether several chain stores within the mall will open their doors.

The same can be said about a number of retail stores along North Bechtle Avenue. On Monday afternoon many of the stores along the popular strip, including Marshalls and Hobby Lobby, remained dark with no signage indicting they would be reopening.

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Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charlie Patterson said it is up to individual businesses to decide when it’s best to reopen.

It is also important to remember that customers are encouraged to wear masks as well, Patterson said.

“Now we have heard a lot of feedback about whether the customers are required to wear a mask, and in the new plan, customers are encouraged to wear masks. If you are going to go into an establishment, you want to protect the other people and the employees from anything you might have since so many people are asymptomatic,” Patterson said. “It’s important for us to protect other people that are working in those services, that are providing services to you.”

Patterson said while it is not a state requirement for customers to wear masks, some retailers may require customers to wear a mask in order to enter their stores.

“If they say ‘no mask no service’, then they are allowed to do that. There is no law that says that they can’t do that,” Patterson said. “And I would expect that many will require it.”

If businesses are not following the state’s guidelines, Patterson said it’s up to customers to, “vote with their feet.”

“If you go into a place and time and time again, the employees are not wearing masks, they are not complying with the law, I’m not going to continue to put myself in that situation,” Patterson said. “I’m not going to be a patron of that establishment if they don’t care enough about me as a patron to protect me.”

If a customer, “does not feel comfortable,” at a business because they are not following state guidelines, Patterson encourages them to reach out to the health district.

“The health department does not fine people and arrest them. What the health department does is educate people to what the law says,” Patterson said. “We will contact them. Most of them we find that when we educate them, they might not have understood the law, we are able to resolve the situation.

Other businesses reopening this week and next week include:

MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Clark County restaurants, salons preparing to reopen

Friday, May 15: Barbershops, nail salons, day spas, tanning facilities and hair salons will reopen. Clients will only be permitted to enter alone unless they require a caregiver. Magazines and other non-essential items that cannot be disinfected will not be permitted.

Restaurants will also be allowed to host outdoor dining. Restaurants should not host parties larger than 10 people and parties must be seated six feet apart from each other. Salad bars and self-serve options are only permitted if served by staff.

Thursday, May 21: Restaurants and bars are permitted to reopen indoor dining — with the same requirements are outdoor dining.

Staff Writer Micah Karr contributed to this report.