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Photo of Sabrina Novak contributed by the Hamilton County Health Department.

Sabrina Novak, director of administrative services for the Hamilton County Health Department, will replace outgoing administrator Becky Barnes as interim health department administrator.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger announced Barnes' plans to retire during a county commission meeting in August and Novak's new role during a commission meeting Wednesday.

Barnes has worked at the health department for 41 years and served as the county's top public health official for around two decades, according to Coppinger. Barnes' last day at the health department will be Friday.

"I don't think we could've had any better leadership during this pandemic," Coppinger said during Wednesday's meeting. "Sabrina Novak, she'll be interim while we're looking for a permanent position there. She's got about 16 years service in the health department and is a very able person to be able to run that health department as we continue to battle the pandemic."

Coppinger said the county's current coronavirus surge continues to break hospitalization and intensive care unit records.

"The virus unfortunately is alive and well in our community and it takes all of us, again, pushing in the right direction to get a handle on it. We just haven't been able to do that yet," he said.

Contact Elizabeth Fite at efite@timesfreepress.com or follow her on Twitter @ecfite.

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