Public safety personnel taking steps to help prevent spread of illness

Published: 03/13/2020, 9:31 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla.) The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety is taking several precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of any illnesses. The agency has formed a working group to focus efforts on prevention and response to a possible local outbreak of COVID-19 and Influenza. "This group continues to work closely with state and local officials to monitor the situation and prepare to mitigate the spread of these and any other infectious disease," said Major Jason Holt with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. "The safety of the public and our staff is our number one goal," said DPS Commissioner John Scully. The department discourages anyone who is feeling sick from visiting a DPS facility so as not to spread illness in the waiting rooms. The agency is also suggesting employees who work in a public-facing area clean and disinfect their work areas every two hours. Employees who are feeling sick are asked to stay home until symptoms of illness resolve. If the employee experiences a fever, they should remain home until at least 24 hours fever free, without the use of fever-reducing medication.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is encouraging troopers in the field to have drivers read their driver license information so the trooper does not have to physically handle the card. They're also being asked to use caution when transporting persons who may be sick and wipe down any surfaces that may have been touched or sneezed on. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the immediate health risk for law enforcement personnel performing daily routine activities is currently considered low. Additional precautions law enforcement should take to reduce the risk of illness due to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases include practicing proper hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available and illicit drugs are NOT suspected to be present, they should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. If a driver is experiencing symptoms of illness a trooper thinks might be due to COVID-19, OHP is asking them to have a trained emergency medical service technician assess and transport the individual to a healthcare facility for evaluation. DPS has provided all employees with general guidelines for dealing with any potentially sick person.


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