COVID-19 Team Report #2

As you are probably aware, all Shawnee County schools have been ordered to suspend classes by Shawnee County Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino.  After the announcement was made we spoke with Dr. Pezzino and asked for guidance on whether the library should remain open.  Dr. Pezzino stated that they discussed the library when making their decision but did not feel that our current situation was severe enough to warrant closing the library.  However, he said we should concentrate on encouraging social distancing within the library which would help minimize the risk.  He had a few recommendations for how we could do this.

The first thing he recommended was spacing out the public computers by removing every other workstation so that people weren’t sitting in such close proximity for a long period of time.  He is recommending that people are not less than six feet from one another for 10 minutes or more.  In accordance with this suggestion, we will be disabling some of the public computers and removing chairs to encourage social distancing.  This will begin on Saturday and we will monitor whether or not the number of computers we have available is sufficient.  If it is not we can look at finding alternate locations for computers or temporarily reducing the time limit on computers.

Another concern had to do with the meeting rooms.  He would like to see the rooms filled to no more than 50% capacity.  We will be placing signs in the rooms that recommend social distancing and contacting meeting organizers to discuss these concerns and possibly moving meetings to larger areas.  We will also be reviewing programs to see if we need to change rooms or cancel.

Dr. Pezzino would also like us to pay attention to other areas of the library in which large groups of people congregate and look for ways to modify the environment to encourage social distancing.  He also mentioned several of the things that we are already doing such as posting signs about washing hands, covering coughs, and other preventive measures.

Please note that with classes suspended, many staff members may need to stay home with their children.  We are committed to allowing employees to stay home with a child for an extended period of time and will allow that employee to use Inclement Conditions Leave time.  This means they will not need to use sick or vacation leave.  However, we encourage parents to look for other childcare alternatives if possible.  Because we may be short-staffed we will probably be asking staff to work in other areas to help cover our essential services.

Thank you all for being patient and flexible.  Things can change quickly and we are staying on top of all that is going on to make sure that we are continuing to provide a safe and healthy environment.

Comments are closed.