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Health commissioner requiring open businesses to submit justification letter or face closure Staff



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TIFFIN — During a Facebook Live briefing Monday, Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer said that she wants all open businesses to submit a statement of justification to her via email as to why they are “essential” amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Earlier this month, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order which closed non-essential businesses to slow the spread of COVID-19, although the definition of what is “essential” has been blurry to many.

Certain businesses —like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants with take-out — are obviously essential and do not need to fulfill this new requirement, but all others that are remaining open and have not yet done so need to, Schweitzer said.

“If you are a grocery store or pharmacy or something like that, you don’t need to submit that to me. Those are the obvious essential businesses,” Schweitzer said. “Also, for employers, if you are not following the mandates given by the governor for social distancing of your employees in the workplace, you must not have them working. It’s essential that you keep them 6 feet apart. If you cannot do that, I ask that you close.”

Businesses can submit their statement of justification to Schweitzer at

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