Health Emergency Plan
The Harrison Public Library has adopted this Health Emergency Plan in compliance with New York State Labor Law §27-c to implement operational plans in the event of certain public health emergencies declared by a local, state, or federal authority including, but not limited to, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or other communicable disease or pandemic illness.
The primary goals of Harrison Public Library’s Health Emergency Plan are to establish:
- The roles and responsibilities during all phases of a public health emergency
- Preparedness activities and response protocols
- Coordination and decision making for the continuation of operations
The Health Emergency Plan is designed to ensure precautionary, response, and recovery measures regarding a public health emergency involving a communicable disease threatening to impact or immediately impacting the library’s staff, trustees, volunteers, and/or community members.
The Library Director as authorized by the Board of Trustees administers the Health Emergency Plan. This includes activating the plan, establishing an internal communications network, and coordinating all response and recovery activities. If, for any reason, the Library Director is unable or unavailable to administer the plan, administrative authority shall be passed to the Librarian in charge.
The following terms are hereby defined for the purposes of this policy:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipment worn to minimize exposure to communicable disease or pandemic illness as mandated by local, state, or federal law and/or any Executive Orders related to the public health emergency or mandates issued by federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Employee: Any person employed by the Harrison Public Library, regardless of job classification or title.
- Contractor: Any individual performing paid services for the library but not an employee of the Harrison Public Library.
- Essential: A designation assigned to an employee or contractor whose duties require them to be physically present at the Harrison Public Library to perform their job, or to tasks that are vital or necessary to the safety or operational needs of the library.
- Non-essential: A designation assigned to an employee or contractor whose duties do not require them to be physically present at the Harrison Public Library, or to tasks that are not vital or necessary to the safety or operational needs of the library.
- Communicable disease: An illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxins that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its products from an infected individual or via an animal, vector, or the inanimate environment to a susceptible animal or human host.
- Retaliatory Action: The discharge, suspension, demotion, penalization, discrimination or other adverse employment action taken against any employee.
ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES OR DUTIES
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Library Director shall be designated as an Essential Employee and is permitted to be physically present at the Harrison Public Library to perform tasks essential to their job or the operations of the library including, but not limited to, maintenance to the facilities that could otherwise threaten or pose a risk to the library’s facilities if not performed; bookkeeping such as accounts payable, accounts receiving, and processing payroll; and/or accepting, sorting, and opening postal mail or packages.
These essential tasks may be delegated to a specific employee or contactor at the discretion of the Library Director. This employee or contractor is permitted to be physically present at the Harrison Public Library to perform only the designated essential tasks as assigned.
TELECOMMUTE/WORK FROM HOME
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Harrison Public Library’s Working Remotely Policy will be implemented based on the Town’s Personnel Department instructions.
All employees whose duties and routine tasks require the use of a computer and/or internet access will be provided library-issued equipment, if necessary, to perform those duties and tasks.
The Library Director will provide instructions for downloading/installing any software for employees to perform their duties remotely. The Library Director will also provide instructions for transferring office phone lines to personal cell phones as applicable to the employee’s job description.
The Library Director will coordinate the schedule for employees and contractors reporting to the library in person to perform essential tasks so that the Harrison Public Library remains in compliance with the state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce. No employee or contractor is permitted inside the Harrison Public Library without authorization from the Library Director.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
PPE as required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders will be provided by the Harrison Public Library. In compliance with OSHA guidelines, employees are not financially responsible for mandated PPE. Employees may provide their own PPE if they desire and if it is in compliance with all local, state and federal laws and Executive Orders and CDC and OSHA regulations.
The Harrison Public Library will provide any necessary training for mandated PPE, including proper use and disposal.
The Harrison Public Library will keep a supply of PPE in storage in the event a public health emergency is immediately declared. All employees will be informed of the storage location of PPE. The Library Director will monitor PPE supply levels and replenish the supply as needed in accordance with the library’s Procurement Policy.
Failure to comply with PPE mandates may result in disciplinary action.
EXPOSURE TO COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
If required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders, mandatory, continuous health screening practices will be implemented for all employees and/or contractors.
In the event an employee and/or a contractor is exposed to a known case of the communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, exhibits symptoms of such disease, or tests positive for such disease, the following procedures will be immediately implemented:
- The employee and/or the contractor must not report to the library or they must leave the premises immediately, if already at work, and must notify the Library Director.
- The Library Director will notify both local and state health departments and will follow guidance specific to workplaces with a suspected or positive case.
- The Library Director and the employee and/or contractor will follow the CDC guidelines and/or laws, state and/or local executive orders and protocols on contact tracing to determine which other staff members and/or contractors were in close contact as defined by the CDC and were possibly exposed to the communicable disease.
- The Library Director and the employee will determine which areas of the library are now considered contaminated and need to be immediately closed.
Cleaning Contaminated Areas
- The library will immediately close off contaminated area(s).
- The contaminated area(s) will be quarantined for a length of time determined by local or state health departments.
- The HVAC system will be temporarily turned off in the area(s) so that particles will not circulate throughout the facility.
- After the determined length of time, the area(s) and materials used by the employee will be cleaned, vacuumed, and disinfected, including offices, workspaces, cubicles, bathrooms, and common areas; shared equipment such as computers, tablets, and keyboards; and shared office supplies.
- The area(s) will be cleaned by the Cleaning Services of Hudson Valley company using OSHA and CDC approved cleaning supplies and disinfectants and while wearing appropriate PPE.
- Once the area(s) has (have) been appropriately disinfected, the area(s) can be opened for use.
- The library will continue routine cleaning and disinfecting and logging these activities as recommended.
The Library Director will adhere to local and state guidance regarding Contact Tracing. This may include reporting or contacting other employees, contractors, visitors, and patrons who voluntarily supplied their information for the purpose of Contact Tracing and who may have been in close contact with the employee(s) suspected or confirmed to have the communicable disease.
The Library Director and all employees and contractors will keep the health status of others confidential.
The Harrison Public Library will adhere to all local, state and federal laws and Executive Orders regarding sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to a communicable disease.
Returning to Work
- If an employee is exposed to the communicable disease or exhibits symptoms of the communicable disease, they must follow all local and state health department directives, which may include being tested for that communicable disease and/or quarantining for a specified amount of time at home.
- If an employee has a suspected or confirmed case, they must not report back to work until they have met all of the required criteria in consultation with a healthcare provider and in accordance with local, state and/or federal criteria specific to the communicable disease.
- All other employees will be provided instructions for returning to work dependent on the determination of risk of exposure by the local or state health department during Contact Tracing.
Reporting to work after a known exposure to a communicable disease, after a positive test without being medically cleared to return to work as defined above, or while having symptoms consistent with the communicable disease will be considered a violation of library policy and may result in disciplinary action.
The Harrison Public Library will not take any retaliatory action against employees not reporting to work due to a suspected or confirmed case of a communicable disease. Employees must follow the established protocols outlined by the Town’s Personnel Department for reporting an absence.
CONTINUATION OF OPERATIONS
In the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease, the Library Director will address operations according to the following outline. Some circumstances will require deviation from this sequence in order to best serve the safety and health of the library staff and community.
- Assess the emergency declaration as it relates to the library’s facilities, materials, staff, and community.
- Notify the appropriate persons, including employees and the Board of Trustees.
- Determine the next steps, based on the information available, regarding:
- Services or service points
- Hours of operation
- Draft a press release or statement to the public
- Document in detail the sequence or timeline of events before, during, and after the declared public health emergency.
- Prepare for recovery.
Once approved by the Board of Trustees, this Health Emergency Plan will be published in a clear and conspicuous location at the Harrison Public Library and on the library’s website. A copy will be provided to all employees.
ONGOING USE EVALUATION
This Health Emergency Plan was developed as required by law with the health and safety of the library’s employees and community as the top priority.
The Health Emergency Plan will be evaluated annually by the Library Director and Board of Trustees and updated as needed. Additionally this plan may be changed from time to time as needed.
Questions or concerns regarding Harrison Public Library’s Health Emergency Plan should be directed to the Library Director.
ADOPTED by the Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees __4/_7_/2021