Questions and Answers

Resources and answers from State Agencies to the questions from churches, ministries, pregnancy centers, adoption agencies, and others like you.

Official State and Federal Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Are churches closed?

No, churches and houses of worship are exempt from the Stay-at-Home order, however, it is strongly encouraged that churches practice safe distancing and transition services/group meetings/training to video conferencing, webcast, phone conferencing. For more information on transitioning your ministry, see our CCV resource here.

Are churches still exempt from the limit on mass gatherings of 50 or more?

While churches are exempt from the Stay-at-Home order, they are not immune from spreading the virus. That said, CCV strongly urges Churches to comply with the order and refrain from in-person worship services or fellowship gatherings. CCV put together this resource.

Can church pastors or elders take communion to shut in parishioners?

Religious purposes are exempt as essential under the Stay-at-Home order. This would include religious purposes to serve parishioners. However, many nursing homes are closed to all visitors, and church leaders should use discretion in having contact with vulnerable populations. Sanitation efforts such as gloves, masks, and safe social distancing are key ways to prevent exposure.

 

Can pastors or chaplains still provide spiritual care to the sick in hospitals, etc.?

Religious purposes and hospice care are exempt as essential under the Stay-at-Home order. However, many nursing homes are closed to all visitors, and church leaders should use discretion in having contact with vulnerable populations. Sanitation efforts such as gloves, masks, and safe social distancing are key ways to prevent exposure.

 

Can a church still have an employee care for the grounds, building(s), etc., during the order?

Religious purposes are exempt as essential under the Stay-at-Home order. This would include care for the church grounds and preventing damage/waste in the absence of weekly monitoring. Sanitation efforts such as gloves, masks, and safe social distancing are key ways to prevent exposure.

 

Can a church keep a food bank/pantry/closet open during the order?

Services and nonprofit efforts benefitting Ohio’s needy, impoverished, or vulnerable populations are exempt under the order. However, organizations and ministries should adapt their operation to minimize exposure, implement safe distancing, and take proper sanitary measures. This may include switching from dine-in to packed lunches, prepackaged/individually wrapped goods, serving outside instead of closed-in spaces, serving one person at a time, six-foot spacing in line, and taking temperatures daily before allowing staff or volunteers to serve.

Healthy young adults are being hospitalized at higher rates than previously thought. Is it wise to utilize young adults in critical mission work such as delivering groceries, etc.?

There are no orders restricting the utilization of young adults from volunteer service. However, for any and all potential volunteers you should confirm:

  • They are not running a fever
  • They are not experiencing symptoms of a cold or flu
  • They have not been in contact with anyone who is symptomatic of a cold or flu
Can people visit their loved ones in a nursing home through the outside window?

There are no provisions that forbid viewing loved ones through a nursing home window, but nursing home efforts to limit exposure and trespassing should be respected. Family members and loved ones are greatly encouraged to seek alternative means of communication, e.g. FaceTime, rather than exposing the facility or grounds to potential carriers.

Are restaurants still open?

Restaurants are not required to close under the Stay At Home Order, but they are not permitted to continue dine-in operations. Restaurants are free to continue operating with pick-up and delivery services that follow social distancing, sanitation requirements, and use personal protection equipment. Some restaurants have chosen to close out of concern for customers and employees.

Are grocery stores hardware stores still open?

Yes, grocery stores and hardware stores are both considered essential, though customers and employees should maintain safe distancing and sanitation requirements, e.g. providing sanitizer.

Are Airbnbs, Hotels, Motels, and Bed-and-Breakfasts still open?

Hospitality and residential facilities are exempt as essential businesses under the Stay-at-Home order. However, hosts, business owners, and staff should take efforts to increase sanitation and comply with safe social distancing. Additionally, hotels, etc., might also remind customers that Ohio citizens should only travel for essential business and purposes such as caring for family members or other loved ones. Traveling for nonessential, vacation, or recreational purposes is not permitted and should be postponed. Hotels and motels are specifically exempt, but Airbnbs are not mentioned. They should be prepared to explain how their business functions as an essential business, for example, because of location, customer travel needs, etc.

Can I still go outside for a walk, hike, or exercise?

Yes, leaving home for the purposes of exercise and pet care is allowed. However, if a horse boarding facility or a dog/cat kennel decides to prohibit owner visitation, that should be honored. It would be wise for owners to suspend non-essential training, visits, etc. to minimize exposure to animal caretakers.

Will I get pulled over for driving from place to place?

No, state leadership has stated that the goal of these orders is for spread prevention and citizen protection, not prosecution. The larger concern is violations by larger scale businesses and providers.

Can I travel from state to state?

Interstate travel is also permitted in order to return to your place of residence. Interstate travel is permitted for the purposes of providing essential care to family members and others in need. However, travelers should check ahead of time to make sure that entry and accommodations are available, as travel and residence policies may vary between states and across businesses. Ohio residents should not engage in interstate travel for nonessential business or vacation purposes, and self-quarantine is encouraged when you return.

What is the current protocol for holding funerals?

The Stay-at-Home order does not prohibit essential business operations, including the following:

  • Churches and religious gatherings, although Citizens for Community Values strongly recommends that churches move to remote/online meetings for the time being. We will have more information on how churches can do this soon.
  • Attending and hosting weddings and funeral services

Click this link for the complete Stay-at-Home order. 

Do childcare and daycare facilities have to close under the Stay-at-Home order?

Beginning Thursday, March 26, 2020 until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed, all operating childcare centers in Ohio must do so under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license and follow these guidelines:

  • There should be no more than six children in a class.
  • Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.
  • Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.
  • The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.
  • There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups, but preferably none.
  • If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.
  • Parent interaction should be limited at both drop off and pick up.

Click here for the complete Stay at Home order.

What is the succinct definition of “flattening the curve”?

The idea of slowing a virus’ spread so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any
given time is known as “flattening the curve.”

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