Columbus Requires Face Coverings

From the City of Columbus website

News Date: July 06, 2020

Information about the Face Mask Executive Order

This order requires the wearing of facial coverings when in public to slow the community spread of COVID-19 and shall be in full force and effect on and after July 3, 2020 and will continue to be in effect until such time as superseded by ordinance of City Council.

Face Covering Requirements

For the purposes of this executive order: “Face covering” means a covering of the nose and mouth that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is simply wrapped around the lower face.

Where Face Coverings are required: All individuals are required to wear face coverings in indoor areas accessible to the public and within the confines of public or private transportation regulated by the City of Columbus, unless otherwise exempted, as follows:

a.     In Retail Businesses. Retail Businesses must have all workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, Retail Businesses must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within (6) feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies.

b.     In Restaurants and Bars. Restaurants and bars must have all workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, restaurants and bars must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when not at their table/seat, unless the customer states that an exception applies.

c.      In Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo Businesses. Personal Care, Grooming, and Tattoo Businesses must have workers wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. In addition, the business must require that all customers wear Face Coverings when they are inside the establishment and may be within six (6) feet of another person, unless the customer states that an exception applies. Customers may take off their Face Coverings if they are receiving a facial treatment, shave, or other services on a part of the head which the Face Covering covers or by which the Face Covering is secured.

d.     In Child Care Facilities, Day Camps, and Overnight Camps. Child care facilities, day camps, and overnight camps must have workers, all other adults, and children six (6) years or older on site wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.

e.     In Transportation. All workers and riders on public or private transportation regulated by the City of Columbus, as well as all people in Columbus airports, bus, and train stations or stops, must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person. This provision does not apply to people traveling alone or with household members or friends in their personal vehicles, but does apply to ride-shares, cabs, vans, and shuttles, even if the vehicles are privately owned.

f.       In Certain High-Density Occupational Settings Where Social Distancing is Difficult. Social distancing is inherently difficult where multiple workers are together in manufacturing settings, at construction sites, and in agricultural settings. Therefore, in businesses or operations within North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors 311 to 339 (manufacturing), 236 to 238 (construction), and 111, 112, 1151, and 1152 (agriculture), all workers must wear Face Coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person.

g.     Long Term Care Facilities. All workers in Long Term Care (“LTC”) Facilities, including skilled nursing facilities (“SNF”), adult care homes (“ACH”), family care homes (“FCH”), mental health group homes, and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (“ICF-IID”), must wear Face Coverings while in the facility, and those Face Coverings must be Surgical Masks, as long as Surgical Mask supplies are available.

h.     Other Health Care Settings. Health care facilities other than LTC facilities must follow the Face Covering requirements in the CDC Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19).

i.        Religious facilities and facilities owned and operated by the State of Ohio and the Federal Government are exempt from this order.

Exemptions: This Executive Order does not require Face Coverings for, and a Face Covering does not need to be worn by, a worker, customer, or patron who:

  • Should not wear a Face Covering due to any medical or behavioral condition or disability (including, but not limited to, any person who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, or incapacitated, or is otherwise unable to put on or remove the face covering without assistance);
  • Is under six (6) years of age;
  • Is actively eating or drinking;
  • Is strenuously exercising;
  • Is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing-impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience;
  • Is working at home or is in a personal vehicle;
  • Is temporarily removing his or her Face Covering to secure government or medical services or for identification purposes;
  • Would be at risk from wearing a Face Covering at work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulations or workplace safety guidelines;
  • Has found that his or her Face Covering is impeding visibility to operate equipment or a vehicle; or;
  • Is a child whose parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place the Face Covering safely on the child’s face; or
  • Is within a religious facility.

Application of Exceptions: Anyone who declines to wear a Face Covering for any of the reasons which constitute an exception should not be required to produce documentation or any other proof of a condition. Children under two (2) years of age should not be required to wear a Face Covering. 

Enforcement: Citations under this Executive Order shall be written only to businesses or organizations that fail to enforce the requirement to wear Face Coverings; this order’s purpose is to impose organizational criminal liability pursuant to CCC Sec. 2301.23.  Businesses and organizations are entitled to rely on their customers’ or patrons’ statements about whether or not they are excepted from the Face Covering requirements, and businesses and organizations do not violate this Executive Order if they rely upon such statements.

a.     Law enforcement personnel are not authorized to criminally enforce the Face Covering requirements of this Executive Order against individual workers, customers, or patrons.

b.     However, if a business or organization does not allow entry to a worker, customer, or patron because that person refuses to wear a Face Covering, and if that worker, customer, or patron enters the premises or refuses to leave the premises, law enforcement personnel may enforce the trespassing laws and any other laws that the worker, customer, or patron may violate.