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Ohio Turnpike takes measures to limit spread of coronavirus

Leadership of Ohio Turnpike allowing only carryout sales at Service Plazas for food and urging toll workers to use gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
Credit: AP Photo/Mark Duncan

CLEVELAND — The Ohio Turnpike is joining the fight with precautionary measures to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Leadership at the Ohio Turnpike announced on Tuesday in response to Governor Mike DeWine declaring a state of emergency, that they will be taking various steps to ensure the safety of its employees and the traveling public.

“The Ohio Turnpike has taken appropriate measures to keep customers and employees as safe as possible,” said Executive Director Ferzan M. Ahmed, P.E. “Due to the fluid nature of the situation nationwide and globally, we continue to conduct contingency planning and will implement new measures as necessary.”

The new measures being taken by the Ohio Turnpike have already begun and will impact travelers who use service plazas and toll stations, as well as Turnpike plaza workers, vendors and toll workers. 

In accordance with the state's order regarding restaurants, food concession operators in all Ohio Turnpike Service Plazas are limited to carryout sales only. Tables and chairs in food courts are temporarily unavailable to customers to eliminate surfaces that could become contaminated with COVID-19.

Janitorial crews have increased the frequency of scheduled cleanings and are using products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Chemical Laboratories to clean and sanitize public areas.

Special attention is being paid to touchpoints in restrooms, infant-changing tables, showers, door handles, vending machines, ATMs, travel kiosks and condiment centers.

Meanwhile, all plaza vendors are increasing an emphasis on sanitation and good hygiene practices and have posted and communicated the most recent public health recommendations for promoting restaurant safety to staff.

Toll collectors are helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as well and have been provided with nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for their mandatory use. 

Toll Collectors collect approximately 35 percent of tolls by cash or credit. 

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