PUTNAM COUNTY — The Stay at Home Order that was recently issued by the Ohio Department of Health was done so to increase social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Kim Rieman, Health Commissioner at the Putnam County Health Department states, “I am asking that all residents follow the order to “stay at home.” Please keep in mind that this is another level of social distancing that is meant to protect our community.” The Order directs all non-essential businesses and services to cease operation. There are some exceptions such as grocery stores, gas stations, mail and critical trades. The entire Order, including the list of exemptions, can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov or putnamhealth.com. Ms. Rieman continues, “We are a very social society and many of us are not sick. While this Order may be uncomfortable or even frustrating, remember that this is being recommended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our most vulnerable residents.”

The Putnam County Health Department is cooperating with the Ohio Department of Health Director’s order that was issued on Sunday, March 22, 2020 to discontinue some services and close the office to the public. Therefore, no walk-in services will be available. All immunization appointments have been canceled through March 31st. A health department staff member will be calling to reschedule. If you are in need of urgent services, please call 419-523-5608 for guidance. This is effective immediately and until further notice.

The following changes took effect Monday, March 23, 2020.

Nursing Services – Walk-in services are suspended

Immunizations – Emergency immunizations only. Regular Immunization Clinics have been postponed until further notice. If you have an appointment for a vaccination with a nurse on a day other than a clinic day, that appointment is also canceled. Please call 419-523-5608 for more information.

Car seats – service is suspended temporarily.

BCMH Services – will be completed by phone as needed

Environmental Health Services – Walk-in services are suspended

Issuing of licenses, plan reviews and issuing of water and sewage permits - will take place via phone calls, mailings, emails, and faxes. Please do not visit the health department in person.

Investigate Foodborne illness – PCHD will respond accordingly

Birth and Death Certificates – Walk-in services are suspended

Obtaining birth or death certificates – Please call 419-523-5608 for guidance on how to obtain a birth or death certificate while normal operating hours have been suspended.

If you are uncertain if the service you need is available at this time, please call the health department for more information.

“The change in services is temporary and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The suspension in services will allow for our staff to practice social distancing and to be available for the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms. Rieman stated.

As always, the community is reminded of ways to decrease the spread of the coronavirus:

• Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.

• If unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Follow the Stay at Home Order issued by the Ohio Department of Health (unless it is an exempt service)

• Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue (then throw the tissue in the trash) or a sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

For more information visit coronavirus.ohio.gov, cdc.gov or putnamhealth.com.