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Update Regarding the Reopening of Dining Areas

Dear OEHA Members,

Over the last several days, OEHA has engaged with the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), MetroHealth System, and Hicks Partners to create a draft proposal for the reopening of Ohio's food dining room facilities. This proposal was submitted to the Lt. Governor’s Office for consideration.

More information will be forthcoming on this proposal in the coming days. However, as we continue to look forward to a new normal, we wanted to be sure that our association is partnering with the industry in a proactive manner. As such, we have worked alongside the ORA to create this draft proposal. The proposal specifically does not include a timeframe for the restart or reopening of dining rooms. However, what it does is create safeguards and guidelines for these operations to open back up while maintaining social distancing guidelines. We appreciate the productive discussion and collaboration between our groups to produce this balanced document. 

Our proposal outlined the following areas: 

  • Temperature monitoring of employees
  • Access to hand washing and sanitizer
  • Limits the size of groups of people
  • Continues to reinforce employee safety training
  • Limits the number of people that can be in a facility at any given time
  • Ensures social distance of six feet between groups of people
  • Requires an operation and LHD notification plan of action if an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or is found to be a probable case
  • Encourages employees and consumers to wear face coverings
  • Encourages the use of disposable gloves
  • Requires facilities to post the number of people allowed in the facility in a readily viewable and accessible location

The above list is not all encompassing but provides an overview of what OEHA and ORA are proposing.

Additionally, our organizations have discussed a plan to continue collaboration throughout the process of reopening Ohio through the production of guidance materials, best practices, and educational forums designed to implement the Order.  Collectively, both ORA and OEHA plan to provide continued and cohesive education to our constituents. 

We certainly understand these unprecedented times and appreciate the work you all are doing to provide effective and essential public health services to the residents of our state.

As we move forward, we will provide more updates as they become available. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us at

Stay well and wash your hands! 

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