Though our fellow New England states have already been grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19), it wasn’t until yesterday that news broke of Maine’s first documented case. It is within this context we wanted to take the opportunity to share the following information with you.
First and foremost, the health and safety of all Library staff members, patrons, and visitors is our top priority. Please be assured York Public Library is actively monitoring the latest information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are participating in a Town response team including local and state public health experts, representatives from York Hospital and Town administration, emergency services, schools, and social service organizations.
It is with an abundance of caution, and with guidance from public health officials, the Library made the decision to cancel all Library-sponsored programs through the end of March. We will reschedule these events as soon as it is prudent to do so and as we are able.
At this time, the Library will maintain our regular hours of operation. Library staff and volunteers have been advised not to come in if they feel unwell or if they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Likewise, we kindly ask you to heed the advice of health officials and stay home if you do not feel well or are exhibiting symptoms of a cold or flu; if you have been exposed to someone who may have COVID-19; or if you have recently traveled outside the United States.
Right now we are taking additional steps beyond regular practices to maintain services to the community and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:
Increasing the frequency of disinfecting high-contact surfaces including railings, keyboards, door handles, and elevator buttons
Maintaining several hand-sanitizing stations throughout the Library
Temporarily removing toys in the Children’s Room until further notice
Disseminating information on best practices for preventing the spread of coronavirus
Accurate information is critical not only to calm fears, but to counter misinformation. To that end, we have provided links to reliable health resources on our website and are regularly sharing information on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We will update these channels as circumstances warrant and as new information becomes available.
If you are concerned you may have COVID-19 or been exposed to it, public health officials recommend that you not go directly to your doctor’s office, but that you CALL your physician instead, so as not to potentially infect others or yourself. If you have general questions about coronavirus, or need help in identifying services or assistance you may need, you can call 211 or visit 211-Maine. Maine specialists are available 24/7 to connect you to local programs and services you may need.
Please be safe, and be well,
Library Director, York Public Library