essential businesses

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof
Ohio Senate

The Ohio Senate adjourned Tuesday without overriding Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill that restricted his ability to issue health orders to shut down businesses.

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in Ohio, as the Ohio Department of Health reported 2,909 new cases of COVID-19 Monday. Cases had surpassed 3,000 each day recently and there are now a total of 221,909 confirmed cases in Ohio.

Despite the skyrocketing numbers, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is not planning to issue any new closures or stay-at-home orders.

Gov. Mike DeWine holds a coronavirus press conference on September 15, 2020.
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday dismissed the idea of another statewide shutdown, even as Ohio sees its highest-ever surge of coronavirus cases – surpassing even the peaks of this spring and summer.

A coalition of health professionals is urging the nation's leaders to step back from the push to reopen the economy and shut down nonessential businesses to prevent the loss of more lives from the spiraling pandemic.

A strange thing happened this spring.

As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.

"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.

A man walks past a closed business Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

A bill to grant essential businesses and health care workers immunity from pandemic-related lawsuits has quickly and overwhelmingly passed the Ohio House. The measure now moves on to the Senate.

A jug of hand sanitizer is near exercise machines at Columbus Sports Connection in Clintonville.
Andy Chow / Ohio Public Radio

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci has issued a preliminary injunction against the state's public health order closing gyms and fitness centers. The attorneys representing gyms say this ruling has wider implications.

For grocery delivery worker Willy Solis, the last straw came when the app Shipt changed his pay — in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

It wasn't the first time that Shipt, owned by Target, had tinkered with that formula. Solis had complained about smaller paychecks and lack of pay transparency. But now he and others like him were putting their health on the line to do their work. Solis decided he had to take action. From his home in Denton, Texas, he logged on to Facebook and started organizing a nationwide walkout.

Lucky Bones is one of several hundred businesses reported to Franklin County Public Health since the stay-at-home order went into effect.
David Holm / WOSU

At Lucky Bones, a pet grooming and day care center in Canal Winchester, the outgoing message on their voicemail is chipper but blunt: “We have just been informed by the state of Ohio that we have to close our business and all services until further notice."

Barbers and hairstylists gathered in East Cleveland Monday to ask Gov. Mike DeWine to include them in the initial phases of reopening Ohio.

The rally at World Famous Superfly Barbershop focused on what shops can do to keep clients and employees safe when they reopen: disinfecting chairs after each service, barring walk-ins and screening appointment-only incoming customers for virus symptoms.

Gilded Social
Gilded Social / Facebook

The owner of a downtown Columbus bridal shop is taking Ohio’s health director to court over the statewide stay-at-home order.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Office of Gov. Mike DeWine

State officials are warning residents that the process of loosening stay-at-home restrictions will be slow and gradual. And when businesses do start to reopen, the state hopes to have a system in place to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Car washes in Ohio are allowed to stay open as an essential business if they operate under certain rules.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

The panel set up to settle disputes over what are essential businesses that can operate during the state’s stay at home order has delivered its first set of rulings.

A Cut Above The Rest barbershop has remained open for nearly 30 years, but is now closed due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
David Holm / WOSU Public Media

As Ohio's stay-at-home order stretches on, so does hair. With barbershops and salons closed, Ohioans are missing out on cuts and coloring, and may be tempted to take their hair into their own hands. 

It appears area contractors are making an effort to protect construction workers at job sites but are those extra measures enough to prevent COVID-19?