Columbus Public Health Steps-up Enforcement of Social Distancing and Hygiene for Businesses
Beginning today, Columbus Public
Health will step up inspections on businesses to assure they are complying with
the Ohio Department of Health’s orders for social distancing
and basic hygiene to slow the spread of COVID- 19.
“We are at a critical moment in
slowing the spread of this highly infectious disease in our community,” said
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “We have received hundreds of complaints that some
businesses are not complying with the Ohio Department of Health’s orders, and
we must assure that employees and residents are safe.”
Teams of sanitarians will visit
businesses to assess the number of people working, if they are able to work at
a safe distance from one another and if soap, water or hand sanitizer are
readily available. Those not in compliance will receive a warning letter. A
second violation will result in citations and could lead to criminal charges.
“We are pleased that most people and
businesses are doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by following the
Ohio Department of Health’s orders,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Health
Commissioner for Columbus Public Health. “However, we continue to receive
complaints from residents that some businesses are not following these orders.
We will be sending our teams out to investigate these complaints in order to
protect the health and safety of our community.”
Columbus Public Health will not be
weighing in on whether a company or workers are essential, only if the place of
employment is in compliance with the order. Guidelines for Essential Businesses
can be found at corona.oh.gov.
“Businesses want to do the right thing, but may
not know the full extent of the state’s social distancing and safe hygiene
requirements. That’s why educating business owners and the public about how we
slow the spread of COVID-19 is so important,” said City Attorney Zach Klein.
“Our ‘education first, citation second’ approach allows people to learn about
the state’s order while still giving health officials and law enforcement the
ability to issue a citation if someone refuses to cooperate.”