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Community and Faith-Based Organizations

Community And Faith Based Organizations

Community- and faith-based organizations include social service agencies, nonprofit organizations, and places of worship that are often sources of critical resources for vulnerable members of our communities. They are essential partners with public health as part of efforts to protect Ohioans from infectious diseases.

The Ohio Department of Health offers these guidelines to prepare for an outbreak of any infectious disease.

Please strive to prevent panic, provide accurate information, and quell rumors and misinformation. Seek to discourage any stigma associated with COVID-19 or any other infectious diseases by speaking out against negative behaviors, statements or exclusionary activities.


  • Please encourage staff, volunteers, congregants, and clients to use personal prevention protection methods at all times, whether at home or at your organization.

  • Share informational fact sheets and posters:

    • Frequently Asked Questions - Link

    • Preventing Infectious Disease - Link

    • CDC Fact Sheets - Link

  • Provide supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, wipes, trash cans within your organization and within the community if possible.

  • Clean high-touch surfaces and objects often.*

  • Monitor absences and notify your local public health department of any spikes.

  • Keep informed of recommendations of public health officials and inform your staff, volunteers, congregants, and clients.


  • Update or create an emergency operations plan with a specific coordinator or team.

  • Consider all staffing, systems, programs, and services and consider various possible scenarios.

  • Plan for worker absences by training other in critical roles. Plan for ways to limit non-essential operations/services if needed. Consider alterations of work hours. Plan to provide information that explains the reason.

  • Partner with other organizations and agencies in the community, including the local health department and other local agencies, businesses, and other community and faith-based groups.

  • Develop flexible sick-leave policies, allowing workers to stay home if they or someone in their home is sick.

  • Develop a plan to increase distance between people working or congregating to at least 3 feet whenever possible.

  • Develop a plan to separate people exhibiting respiratory symptoms form others and help them get home or to medical care as soon as possible.

  • Plan for the possible cancelling of nonessential travel. Consider telework options, staggered schedules, web-based seminars and postponing meetings or holding them remotely.

  • Create or update emergency communication plans.

  • Plan for ways to reach people with language, cultural or disability barriers. Translate pertinent documents into languages in your community.

  • Create a necessities bank to collect prevention and care items for people who may need them.

  • Plan for ways to continue essential services using methods that eliminate or reduce congregating.

  • Plan for modifying or canceling large community events, programs, and non-essential services if necessary.

  • Developed February 27, 2020, with information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prevention Info-graphic

  • 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 

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