A Message from Lake County Health Commissioner Ron H. Graham

As the state of Ohio begins to slowly reopen, the use of cloth masks or face coverings continues to be a hot topic. The Ohio Department of Health has released the following FAQs to clear up the confusion.

Q: Who is required to wear a cloth mask or face covering?
A: The requirement to wear cloth face coverings applies to employers and employees at Ohio workplaces.

Q: Are there exceptions?
A: Yes. Employers and employees are not required to wear face coverings if it is not advised due to health reasons, against documented industry best practices, prohibited for a specific position by law or regulation, or a violation of a company’s safety policy. A face covering also is not required if an employee is working alone in an enclosed workspace or if there is a practical reason one cannot be worn. If any of these exceptions apply, written justification must be provided upon request.

Q: What else should I do to protect myself if I go to work?
A: Whenever possible stay at least 6 feet from other people. Wash your hands often, try not to touch your face, and frequently disinfect work areas and high-touch items in your workplace with disinfecting cleanser. Don’t share work materials or equipment, especially equipment used near the face. Don’t congregate with others in breakrooms or other areas. Avoid public or shared transportation if possible. Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms and stay home if you experience any or otherwise feel sick.
Q: Why aren’t face coverings required for customers, clients, and other visitors or guests?
A: Face coverings are strongly recommended for people who can safely wear them. The decision to exempt customers from the requirement was made to protect Ohioans who cannot wear face coverings, such as people who have severe asthma or breathing issues, hearing aids, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, or claustrophobia. In addition, face coverings should NEVER be worn by or placed on people who are younger than 2, have difficulty breathing, or are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove them without assistance.
It is important to note, that while the state of Ohio will not be mandating the use of face masks for customers, business owners do have the option of requiring face masks for customers, clients, and guest who can safely wear them. Please check with a business directly to verify their specific requirements.