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COVID-19 LIBRARY REOPENING SAFETY PLAN: STAGES 0 – 2

INTRODUCTION

COVID-19 has forced our library buildings to close temporarily, but it has not closed our library. Virtual services continue, developed and provided through the talents and creativity of the library’s extraordinary staff. As we commit every day to extend those services to our community, we are thinking carefully about what a return to our physical spaces must consider and include. While we assess our environment and discuss scenarios, there are elements of that environment we do not know and cannot predict. We do know, however, that a return to physical spaces will not be an immediate return to a pre-pandemic environment. First and foremost, the health, safety, and well-being of our staff members and our patrons have guided and will continue to guide the development of these stages and in large part will determine when and how we reopen our facilities.

This COVID-19 Library Reopening Safety Plan responds to that reality by outlining proposed stages to reopen our facilities and to reintroduce services to our patrons with new health and safety protocols in place. There will be waiting periods in-between the stages of this Plan to monitor the effect. Additional assumptions include the potential for revision to this Plan, which can change at any time, for example, if new infections occur and government mandates or restrictions are reinstated. We will continue to develop this Plan as we learn more, and it is subject to change.


REOPENING STAGES

Stage 0 PREPARATION

A. PREPARATION – SET UP / JUNE 1-5, 2020 (2 staff members in each building June 3-5, no public)  

  1. The cleaning company will prepare both buildings, June 1-3. 
  2. Notify vendors that we are accepting delivery. 
  3. Confirm that HVAC systems are clean and functioning safely.
  4. Check building infrastructure in general: electrical, plumbing, etc.
  5. Verify that technology is working correctly; contact the IT department if needed. 
  6. Develop social-distancing practices for staff and library users for curbside pickup.
  7. Prepare and post signage and tape off all designated areas (with 6 feet markers).
  8. Design traffic flow for public access for book drop and later for curbside pickup.
  9. Redesign staff areas for proper social distancing (6 feet). 
  10. Begin to redesign all areas of the libraries for social distancing.

B. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / STAFF 

  1. Two staff members (TBD) will be assigned to work in each building 9:30am-4pm, June 3-5. 
  2. Staff who enter the library must wear masks and gloves (gloves indoors are optional for staff) during working hours and maintain proper social distancing. Library staff will be supplied with and trained on the use of PPE and its proper disposal. 
  3. Staff will maintain proper social distancing when entering and exiting the buildings.
  4. All staff members must wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds. Staff will be provided with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available.
  5. If a staff member is working outside the building (putting signs up, marking 6 ft. distance, setting up the tent, etc.) he/she must wear a mask and gloves. After working outside, gloves must be properly disposed of and hands must be washed.
  6. Staff must not use the kitchen to congregate. Sharing food/beverages is prohibited. Staff may eat at other isolated locations in the library, which they have to sanitize.
  7. There must be NO contact with the public. Smoke breaks outside the building are discouraged.
  8. Staff are encouraged to keep windows in the building open for ventilation, when it is possible.
  9. During the day, staff members should wipe high-touch surfaces and at the end of each desk shift, staff members should wipe down hard surfaces.
  10. Staff must use personal phone headsets.
  11. Work stations and bathrooms will be assigned.

C. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / SCREENING AND TESTING

  1. Mandatory self temperature checks will be implemented. Staff members must initial the health record every working day (temperature will not be recorded). If a staff member has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher they must go home and notify HR and the Library Director to schedule a backup staff member.
  2. If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the staff member must notify the Town HR, complete a 14-day self-quarantine, and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider. If a staff member has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is symptomatic, the staff member must notify the Town HR, complete a 14-day self-quarantine, and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider.
  3. If a staff member has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is NOT symptomatic, the staff member must notify the Town HR and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider.

D. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / DELIVERIES (e.g. newspapers, USPS, FedEx, UPS) 

  1. We will require companies to do contactless delivery, where boxes are left outside the building.
  2. Designated areas for pickups and deliveries for both buildings will be outside the entrance doors. Signage will be placed. Staff will be provided with hand trucks for bringing in deliveries.  
  3. All delivered materials will be quarantined for 24 hours. Storage areas for delivered materials: HAR – Learning Center, HWE – Mystery.
  4. Signing for delivery – Staff will no longer need to sign for UPS Signature Required deliveries
THESE SAFETY PRACTICES ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SOURCES: 

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html#interim

https://www.nyla.org/userfiles/Advocacy/CurbsideIn-StorePickupRetailShortGuidelines.pdf

https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/CurbsideInStoreRetailMasterGuidance.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/gloves.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html#Reducing-the-Spread-of-COVID-19-in-Workplaces

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html


Stage 1 LIMITED SERVICES

A. LIMITED SERVICES – BOOK DROP / JUNE 8-12, 2020 

  1. All items must be returned in the designated book drops at each location.
  2. Book drops will only be open 10am – 3pm.
  3. Book drops will be unavailable to the public for a short period of time whenever a staff member has to empty them. The area surrounding a book drop will be inaccessible to the public for safety reasons.
  4. The book drop cart will be wheeled into the designated return quarantine area (Community Room at HAR, Large Print Area at HWE). Returned items will be placed onto the tables and book carts designated for that day and the items will be labeled with the date and time of their return. 
  5. Items will remain in quarantine for three full days after the day and time they were returned before returning to circulation (i.e. a minimum of 72 hours).
  6. The book drop cart handle will be cleaned with the CDC-approved cleaners and wheeled back to the book drop receptacle. 
  7. At the end of the day, the cart will be emptied and will remain in the building to be sanitized by the cleaning crew. The cleaning company personnel will be responsible for maintaining a cleaning log. The Halperin Building log will be kept behind the Service Desk. The West Harrison Branch log will be kept on the shelf under the Service Desk. 
  8. No returns will be checked in until curbside pickup begins. When curbside begins, items will be checked in fine-free.

B. LIMITED SERVICES – BOOK DROP / STAFF

  1. Two staff members will be assigned to work in each building 9:30am-4pm.
  2. All material emptied from the book drop should be handled wearing gloves. Safety protocols will apply. See above stage 0.
  3. A staff member who is working outside can retreat to the safety of the building if a patron does not follow safety protocols for the contactless book drop procedure.
  4. Staff will continue to prepare social-distancing practices for curbside pickup.
  5. Staff will perform collection maintenance: weeding, shifting, shelving.
THESE SAFETY PRACTICES ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SOURCE: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html


Stage 2 CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP

A. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – STARTING JUNE 15

  1. The book drop hours will expand to match curbside hours.
    1. Halperin Building
      1. Monday & Wednesday: 10:00am – 8:30pm
      2. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (June) 10:00am – 5:00pm
    2. West Harrison
      1. Monday & Wednesday: 1:00pm – 6:30pm
      2. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 11:00am – 4:30pm
  2. We will not be charging fines during the curbside pickup stage.
  3. There will be no in-person assistance for patrons; patrons must call or email.
  4. Patrons can reserve items by phone or the public catalog.
  5. Staff will have 24 hours to find the items, check them out to the patron, bag them, and staple the checkout receipt to the bag.
  6. Staff will call (preferably) or email the patron to schedule a time for pickup.
  7. Staff will consult our pickup schedule on the hour and leave bags to be picked up on a table underneath a tent outside the library entrance (on the lower level at West Harrison). Staff will be monitoring the table. No more than two patrons will be scheduled during each 15-minute interval. We will be flexible. A staff member will be available for phone calls regarding changes to the pickup schedule.

B. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – RESERVING ITEMS

  1. Patrons may only reserve Harrison and West Harrison items.
  2. Initially there will be a limit of 10 items per card.

C. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – PULLING HOLDS

  1. When patrons reserve items by phone, if we are able to pull the items on the spot, we can also set up a pickup time. Otherwise, staff will pull the holds within 24 hours and call the patron (or email if necessary) to schedule a pickup time.
  2. After pulling the holds, staff will check out the items to the patron.
  3. After checking out the items, staff will bag the items, staple the receipt with the patron’s name to the bag, and call the patron (or email as a last resort) to schedule a pickup time; our schedule will be an online calendar and no more than two pickups will be allowed during any 15-minute period.

D. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – PATRONS’ PICKUP

  1. On the hour, staff will consult the pickup schedule and place bags outside on a table underneath a tent in the parking lot (on the lower level at West Harrison).
  2. Six-foot distances from the entrance and tent will be marked off for social distancing.
  3. The parking lot will be blocked off to traffic in front of the tent to avoid any safety hazards.
  4. Signs will be placed outside the building explaining the pickup process and noting that staff cannot offer any assistance in person.
  5. Staff will avoid contact with patrons and keep at least 6 feet away from patrons when they are placing bags outside for pickup.

E. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – STAFFING

  1. We will start with four staff members at the Halperin Building and three at West Harrison.
  2. Staff assigned to work at the buildings will be scheduled as follows:
    • Halperin Building
      • Monday & Wednesday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
      • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (June) 9:30am – 5:30pm
    • West Harrison
      • Monday & Wednesday: 12:30pm – 7:00pm
      • Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10:30am – 5:00pm
  3. Staff members who are not scheduled to work on these two services (book drop and curbside pickup) will work remotely.
  4. The entrance camera monitors will be brought upstairs for easier access by staff.
  5. A staff member who is working outside can retreat to the safety of the building if a patron does not follow safety protocols for the contactless curbside pickup procedure.
  6. Preparations for the next stage begin.
  7. Working on the public policy(s) begins.
  8. Develop/offer staff training 
    • Dealing with difficult situations
    • Dealing with emotional trauma


Stages 3 – 5

Stages 3 – 5 are contingent on the New York Forward reopening guidelines. Before these stages can begin they will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Approved by the Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees, June 4, 2020

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