In the midst of largest and most challenging global health pandemic of our time, it is not only fitting but also more important than ever that we recognize and thank the team at the Franklin County Health Department. This week marks the 25th annual National Public Health Week, which is celebrated in the first full week of April each year.

As we have witnessed over the last handful of weeks, the health department does much more than give flu shots and inspect restaurants.

Prior even to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, FCHD Public Health Director Judy Mattingly and Deputy Director Brittany Parker, in particular, were instrumental in informing and educating Frankfort and Franklin County residents about the risks, signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Each Monday at 1 p.m., FCHD Health Education Coordinator and Franklin County Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) Coordinator Debbie Bell hosts Mayor Bill May, Judge-Executive Huston Wells and Mattingly or Parker in a weekly local COVID-19 update, which runs live on the city’s Facebook page.

The health department team is also working closely with the city and county in addressing the threat of the virus and is taking necessary precautions to prevent its spread.

Over the weekend, in cooperation with May, Wells, City Solicitor Laura Ross and County Attorney Rick Sparks, Mattingly signed public health order 2020-1, which limits the number of shoppers in any public-facing businesses in the area from each family to one. 

We are grateful for the proactive measures — even those that are unpopular — that the health department and local leaders are taking in the fight against COVID-19. We are appreciative that the health department team goes above and beyond what is asked of them in order to keep our community healthy and safe.

As we thank health care professionals on the front lines of this global pandemic, let’s not forget their brothers and sisters in public health, who are also fighting a battle for all of us.

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