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Staying Healthy

A Message from ODPS Director Stickrath

Partners and colleagues,

Last week, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed Ohioans on the need for increased public health awareness around communicable diseases such as influenza, the common cold, and 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  While COVID-19 has received a great deal of attention, Ohio remains at low risk and has no confirmed cases.  Influenza remains the more serious concern at this time. I am reaching out to you, as our partner, in an effort to stay healthy. 

Preventative measures that were recommended for avoiding getting sick and staying healthy during this flu season are also applicable to COVID-19 include: 

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitizer when you are unable to wash.
  • Trying not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.  Germs are often spread this way.
  • Getting plenty of rest.  Sleep is shown to help your body fight off illness.
  • If you get sick, stay home to prevent spreading it to others.  Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible and approve leave requests to the extent feasible within operational need.

First responders –  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided interim guidance that applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work.  You should follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and maintaining transport vehicles and equipment during and after transport.  Providers should always follow their approved protocols for PPE and discuss any issues or related concerns with their agency’s physician medical director and EMS agency director.

Emergency management partners – We continue to coordinate with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on messaging as well as providing resources and support as needed.  ODH has a clearinghouse on its website relating to COVID-19 and will update the public on any possible or confirmed cases in Ohio.

Deputy registrars – In addition to taking the preventative measures listed above, deputy registrars should provide employees with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol for use in between customer transactions. If practical, place hand sanitizer throughout the public portion of your agency, particularly in areas of high usage such as kiosks and counters.  Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces daily using a household disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe. High-touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets.

This is an evolving situation and we continue working with our partners in making sure we are keeping Ohioans safe.  For the latest information, please visit ODH’s website

I appreciate your cooperation during this time and will communicate further guidance when available.


Director Tom Stickrath

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