COVID-19 Checklist for Law Enforcement and other First Responders
Top Things You Can Do to Protect Against COVID-19
Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommends that law enforcement take the following actions:
- Protect yourself from exposure by practicing proper hand hygiene and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others, whenever able. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel should assess and transport anyone thought to have COVID-19 to a healthcare facility. Learn your employer’s plan for exposure control and participate in all training on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for respiratory protection.
- Ensure recommended PPE such as disposable exam gloves, disposable gown/coveralls, respirator, and eye goggles are available for use and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for EMS personnel. Please limit use when possible due to concerns over severe shortages.
- Review actions regarding close contact occurring during apprehension. Clean and disinfect duty belt and gear prior to reuse and follow standard procedures for containment/disposal of PPE and containing/laundering clothes.
- Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) or Emergency Medical Dispatch centers should question and determine the possibility that the caller may have signs/symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. Coordinate response with other first responders and put on appropriate PPE before entering the scene.
- Do not issue tickets to drivers whose licenses expire while the Bureau of Motor Vehicle's services are unavailable and whose licenses recently expired, possibly during a COVID-19 self-quarantine or isolation. Most BMV offices closed on March 18, with those remaining open to offer services only for commercial drivers.
- What Law Enforcement Personnel Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-law-enforcement.html.
- Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-for-ems.html.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 (1-800-846-8517 TTY); connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line by texting the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741; or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1-877-275-6364 to find resources in your community.
- Stay home when you are sick
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals
- Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer)
- Dry hands with a clean towel or air dry your hands
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces
- Clean and disinfect "High-Touch" surfaces often
- Call before visiting your doctor
- Practice good hygiene habits