By Alan Rauss & Alexis Preskar

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made masks mandatory starting Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m., ending the speculation of when, if ever, the state would require face coverings. Cities, counties and even retailers have been requiring masks as coronavirus cases continue to climb.

When a mask is required:

  • MasksIndoors, other than at home
  • Outdoors, when unable to maintain social distance
  • While waiting or riding public transportation, including ride sharing

Who does not have to wear one:

  • Children under 10
  • Those with a disability or communicating with someone with a disability
  • People who are actively exercising
  • Religious officiants
  • Those involved in public safety (though the parameters of this are unclear)
  • People actively eating or drinking

Retail Mask Policies

Many stores have recently instituted mask policies, including retail giants Walmart, Kroger and Target (Kroger and Walmart’s mandates are currently in place, while Target’s begins Aug. 1, 2020). With the new statewide mandate, it may be easier for retailers to get customers to comply.


It’s unclear how the state mandate will be enforced. While some prior requirements include a fine for the maskless and stores that fail to enforce the orders, municipalities have been hesitant to step in and police the issue.

Travel Warning

DeWine also issued a travel warning (not mandate), asking all who have traveled to or from a state with greater than a 15% rate of positive tests to quarantine for two weeks upon entering Ohio. This applies to both Ohioans coming home and visitors coming from other states. The current states that fall under this advisory are Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas.

If you’re a business owner or employer, make sure to stay up to date on the orders and train staff on both enforcing the order in-house and with clients or customers.

For more information on how businesses can comply with relevant local, state, and federal guidelines, please contact Alan Rauss ( / 216-736-7221) or Alexis Preskar ( / 614-427-5748) or any of KJK’s Labor & Employment professionals.