Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Library’s Response to the Outbreak

Updated: March 25, 2020

The Hood River County Library District has updated their temporary closure dates. They will now tentatively be closed through April 28, 2020. This date is subject to change based upon recommendations and guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, Governor Kate Brown and Hood River County public health officials.

During the closure, the Hood River Library District encourages patrons to use their online resources and services. Residents in their service area can sign up for a library card through their website to access:

They ask patrons to not return their library materials. Their drop boxes are closed. All due dates have been extended and library fines will not accrue during the closure. If a patron has an item on a hold shelf it will be waiting for them when they reopen. If a patron has a hold, they will maintain their place in line. All blocks due to patrons exceeding the fine threshold have been temporarily removed, which will allow all patrons to use their online resources and services. The Wi-Fi is on in the library buildings.

The Hood River County Library District will be offering a variety of online programming and services. To learn about programs and services, patrons can follow the Library on social media (Facebook and Instagram), check the library website and sign up for their enewsletter for the latest updates.

The Hood River County Library District team looks forward to welcoming their community back into their libraries. The Library’s leadership team will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly.

Updated: March 14, 2020

Hood River County Library District temporarily closes all library branches

The Hood River County Library District has been monitoring information and advice from the Center for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, Governor Kate Brown and Hood River County public health officials about the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Based on the scientific evidence that early social distancing can help stop the coronavirus from exponentially spreading, Library District leadership is making the difficult decision to close all locations and outreach services to the public beginning on Saturday, March 14, 2020. The closures will remain in effect until at least Tuesday, March 31, 2020. This decision is consistent with the governor’s executive order for all K-12 schools to close until April to slow the spread of the virus.

The scientific community is in agreement that flattening the curve of new cases is essential to containing the virus’s spread and reducing the burden on our health care system. Our library team is dedicated to providing excellent public service, but the best way we can serve our patrons and community right now is to aid in slowing the spread of the virus, especially as our patrons include many seniors and others at high risk.

Over the next few weeks, we will thoroughly clean all our locations and prepare for reopening to the public.

During the closure, we encourage patrons to use Hood River County Library District online resources and services. Residents in our service area can sign up for a library card through our website to access:

Don’t worry about returning or renewing your materials. We will extend the due date and waive fines during the closure. Please return your materials when we reopen. Our drop boxes will be closed. If you have an item on a hold shelf it will be waiting for you when we reopen. If you have a hold, you will maintain your place in line.

Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reduce misinformation. Find reliable and current information about the outbreak from local, state, and national agencies on our website www.hoodriverlibrary.org.

Our library team looks forward to welcoming our community back into our libraries. The Library’s leadership team will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. Follow the Library on social media (Facebook), check the website and sign up for our enewsletter for the latest updates.

Rachael Fox, Library Director, Hood River County Library District

Updated: March 14, 2020

The Hood River County Library District approved the COVID-19 Closure Plan and Continuation of Service Plan on Saturday, March 14, 2020.

COVID-19 Closure Plan and Continuation of Service Plan

The COVID-19 Closure Plan and Continuation of Service Plan were devised by Hood River County Library District Safety committee based on the best available information about the virus, its spread, and prevention measures; and outbreak prevention and containment best practices employed by large public institutions.

The coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly changing situation. Staff and the public will be informed regularly with updates on how the library is handling the situation and when any parts of the closure or continuation of service plan are implemented.

We will only implement these plans if deemed necessary.

CLOSURE PLAN

The library’s safety committee has determined the following Closure Plan is the best course of action in the event all branches must close due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This plan was approved by the Hood River County Library District Board on March 14, 2020. All decisions will be made by the Library Director with the guidance of the President of the library board.

Scenario A1 — Close Specific Branches

  • Individual branches may be closed based on staffing levels. Staff will be deployed to other branches.

Scenario A — Cancel Programs

  • All programs, meetings, and study rooms may be suspended if the outbreak worsens.

Scenario B — Close All Locations

  • This scenario will be enacted once the Hood River County School District closes, or upon direction from Hood River County, Oregon State or Oregon State Health Authority. Once the decision is made to close all library locations, it will be implemented immediately. The decision to reopen will be made by the library’s Library Director in consultation with the President of the library board.

CONTINUATION OF SERVICE PLAN

The Continuation of Service Plan will be put into place in the event the entire library district needs to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The library will continue to offer some services to patrons if closed for a period of time due to coronavirus.

Staffing to Implement Services During a Closure

Essential staff has been identified and will be in regular contact during the closure to ensure services are working as intended. This team will meet regularly and a determination will be made whether a longer closure is required.

We will remind the public that our online services will be available, even if the library is closed. In the event of a closure, book drops will be closed and patrons will be unable to return items. Late fees will be waived.

Resuming Regular Services

Regular library services will resume once the branches are reopened. The decision to reopen will be made by the Library Director in consultation with the President of the Library Board.

Updated: March 12, 2020

The outbreak of the COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), raises many concerns for Hood River County Library District. We see hundreds of people every week and feel responsible for their well being. Simultaneously we are concerned about our health and the health of our staff.

Libraries are “second responders,” acting as resiliency centers during weather emergencies and filling gaps in services and resources, all while serving as a trusted source for factual information.

All of these interactions put the public, and our staff, in close contact all day long. As such, Hood River County Library District administration and Library District Board is keeping a close eye on recent developments regarding Coronavirus. We are exploring what we as an organization need to do so we can continue serving the public while keeping everyone healthy and safe.

Below are some guidelines for staff and patrons, as well as some resources for further information.

What We’re Doing at the Library

+ At the end of each desk shift, staff members will wipe down hard surfaces.

+ Staff members are directed to wash their hands at the end of a shift or when going on break.

+ Facilities staff have been directed to wipe down all hard surfaces including surfaces in meeting and study rooms.

+ When possible, library cards will be scanned in the patron’s hands.

+ Members of the public and staff are encouraged to stay home if they are sick.

+ Do not handle food or snacks for others.

+ Toys have been removed from public spaces for cleaning.

What Can You Do as a Patron

+ If you are sick, stay home, especially if you have a fever.

+ If you are using our meeting room space, make sure that all those who attend are well.

+ Cough into a tissue or into the bend of your arm.

+ Wash your hands regularly after using public computers and borrowing material.

+ Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

+ Practice social distancing of 4 to 6 feet.

+ If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.

+ Vulnerable individuals, which are defined as 60+ years or who have health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease and weakened immune systems, are recommended to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, telecommute if possible, stay home if they are sick and avoid people who are sick. 

+ Spread the word, and remind friends and family that the library is a trusted source for accurate information.

It’s important to remember that COVID-19 isn’t connected to race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help fight the illness. Sharing accurate information from trusted sources is critical to reduce misinformation. Find reliable and current information about the outbreak from local, state, and national agencies.