As we approach this holiday weekend, it is important for you to know that there have been several drastic changes in the Orders coming from Dr. Amy Acton, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health. In order to avoid conflict with Governor DeWine’s Responsible RestartOhio program, as of May 20, 2020 the Stay at Home Order has been rescinded, for the most part. What this means is the following:
- Travel restrictions have been lifted. Persons can travel in and out of Ohio with no restrictions, unless they are COVID-19 positive or exhibit signs or symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, in which case they shall not enter the State.
- Elderly people and especially those with high-risk factors are still urged to take precautions and stay at home.
- The 10-person gathering rule is still in place.
- Traditional parades are not allowed, but drive-by parades are permitted with social distancing.
- All restrictions on opening businesses in various sectors continue to be in force. These sets of mandated and/or recommended steps can be seen at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov
In the words of the new Orders, compliance is based on the concept that Ohioans will “rely on their sense of personal responsibility and accountability to others when leaving home.” There is also a rationale that “our freedom to guide our own actions is an equal responsibility to each other to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
The most frequent question I receive concerns the wearing of masks or cloth face coverings. The rules for Responsible RestartOhio mandate that employees in a business, restaurant or other office setting wear a mask when they are not working alone. However, there is no requirement, law or mandate in Ohio that a customer/patron/client or resident must wear a mask. This is only a suggestion by the Governor; the wearing of a mask is voluntary. If you see an individual or crowd gathered in a social or business setting and they are not wearing masks or face coverings, there is nothing our local police department can do to stop this. In some larger situations, we can call the Cuyahoga County Health Department for enforcement.
This will be an unusual Memorial Day weekend. With the Beachwood Family Aquatic Center closed and many other activities limited, we can’t rely on many of our usual traditions. Nevertheless, we have opened Barkwood (by appointment), the tennis courts are open, most local restaurants and stores --including Beachwood Place-- are open and you are always welcome in our City Park. No matter how you choose to spend this holiday, if you go out, please wear a face covering in public. Stay healthy, Beachwood.