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State Says Businesses Not Following COVID-19 Safety Rules Could Face Penalties

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted speaks at the daily coronavirus news conference on Friday, March 28.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted speaks at the daily coronavirus news conference on Friday, March 28.

More than 187,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment this week, and many more are worried about their jobs and their businesses. The state has said that businesses that consider themselves essential as described by Ohio’s stay at home order can stay open, but they must be following safety guidelines. And if they’re not, they could face penalties.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said most businesses are following the rules to stop the spread of coronavirus by keeping people apart, cleaning and sanitizing, and monitoring employees’ health.

“There are some that aren’t, and we are going to take action. So far, on the ones that we've been working on, the businesses of either voluntarily complied or in one case, they just said, OK, we're not going to do this anymore. We're going to start making valves for ventilators and things like that," Husted said.

Husted said those businesses that stay open should prepare a document explaining why they’re essential and what they’re doing to protect employees and customers. 

And he said businesses shouldn't be taking risks by staying open when they're not really essential or by not following the rules.

“I would just I would appeal to you as a fellow citizen. Don't do stupid things. I mean, seriously. If we don't practice social distancing, it's estimated that we will spread coronavirus to 2.8 people if we're infected," Husted said.

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