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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Dispute Panel Issues First Rulings On Essential Businesses

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

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.

Four cases before the Dispute Resolution Commission involved pet groomers. The panel ruled that county health departments were correct in determining groomers are not essential.

Three cases involved car washes, two included Cuyahoga and Summit County Health Departments, with the third involving just Summit County. The Dispute Resolution Commission said car washes could operate if employees have no direct interactions with customers, don’t hand-wash or hand-dry vehicles and maintain social distance and that only the number necessary to operate the car wash are on site.

The Dispute Resolution Commission decided that businesses selling CBD products are not essential, though state licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are essential.

The commission’s members are Ohio Development Services Agency director Lydia Mihalik, Ohio Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield and Ohio Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Chair Sam Randazzo. The panel's decisions are final.

Do you have questions about Ohio's coronavirus response? Ask WOSU below as part of our Curious Cbus series._

Copyright 2020 WOSU 89.7 NPR News

Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at