COVID-19 Utilities Checklist
Protecting Against COVID-19
An order issued March 31, 2020 by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency ensures all Ohioans have working water service during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. The order prevents companies from cutting off water service due to non-payment during the State of Emergency, and also requires companies to reinstate water service for those who were cut off after January 1, 2020. This will ensure clean water for Ohioans during this pandemic. To get your water restarted, contact your water service provider.
Also, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommends that all Ohioans are aware of the following actions taken by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO):
- PUCO took action to halt utility disconnections.
- PUCO ordered Ohio’s electric and natural gas distribution, water and wastewater, and landline telephone companies to review their policies regarding service disconnections, and promptly seek any necessary PUCO approval to suspend any policies that would impose a service continuity hardship or create an unnecessary risk of human contact.
- PUCO has encouraged those utilities not regulated by PUCO to implement similar procedures.
- PUCO directed utilities to coordinate and communicate with local community action agencies and other community-based organizations to ensure that utility services to customers is maintained during the state of emergency.
- This does not eliminate any payment obligations. Such obligations may be deferred based upon future filings made by the utility or stakeholder proposals.
- If you have questions or concerns regarding your utility service, contact PUCO at https://www.puco.ohio.gov/contact-us/.
- PUCO has extended its “winter reconnect order” through May 1, which allows customers to reconnect service no matter how much they owe.
- The order helps Ohioans reconnect or maintain electric and natural gas service during the heating season between Oct. 14, 2019 and May 1, 2020.
- Energy suppliers have been banned from doing door-to-door or in-person marketing to avoid unnecessary social contact.
- Customers of PUCO-regulated electric and natural gas utilities continue to have the option to enroll with a competitive supplier of their choosing.
- The Energy Choice website at energychoice.ohio.gov allows customers to compare offers from competitive suppliers.
- PUCO has waived limits on how long truck drivers can drive for those delivering relief or medical supplies. Limits have also been waived for those truck drivers transporting fuel, including gasoline, diesel, propane, and heating oil.
- Temporary regulatory relief has been extended from the hours-of-service requirements for drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting relief supplies including consumer goods and medical supplies within Ohio.
- Carriers subject to this regulatory relief are not exempt from any other motor carrier safety regulations, including commercial driver’s licensing; controlled substance, alcohol use, and testing requirements; and financial responsibility requirements.
- Carriers should continue to maintain records of duty status and take all measures to ensure that drivers have the ability to safely operate their commercial vehicles.
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.
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio: https://www.puco.ohio.gov/.
Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions.
- Stay home
- Practice Social Distancing
- 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
If you have questions regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19 please call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
CLEAN ALL "HIGH-TOUCH" SURFACES EVERY DAY
High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.