COVID-19 Resources



This tab contains information to support library governance and administration through the COVID-19 Pandemic.


For more information see the pages below:

MHLS will provide weekly Director Briefings to ensure library directors have up-to-date information about MHLS services, news from NYS, and answers to frequently asked questions the MHLS staff have been fielding from member libraries.

Registration is no longer required for this event. Log-in information will be sent via the MHLS-Notice List the morning of each briefing.

  • Thursday, August 6 from 3:00-4:00pm
  • Thursday, August 20 from 3:00-4:00pm

Health Departments

Executive Orders

Executive Orders

  • Executive Order 202.5  – “Additionally, all places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions shall likewise be closed to the public at 8 p.m. on March 19.”
    • From NYLA: While libraries are not defined as a place of public amusement, we believe that the intent of this directive applies to libraries, and therefore they should be closed to the public by 8 p.m. on March 19.
  • Executive Order 202.6 – “Effective on March 20 at 8 p.m.: All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 50% no later than March 20 at 8 p.m.”
    • From NYLA: While a library is certainly an essential service for the social and cultural health of a community, it is not an essential service as detailed in the exceptions outlined in E.O. 202.6, and therefore libraries who are not opting to close to the public (as stipulated in E.O. 202.5) are subject to the 50% workforce reduction standards. Again – New York Library Association is recommending that libraries in New York State suspend public operations
  • Executive Order 202.7 – The provisions of Executive Order 202.6 requiring in-person work environment restrictions are modified as follows: Effective March 21, 2020 at 8 p.m. and until further notice all businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 75% no later than March 21 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions.
  • Executive Order 202.8 – The provisions of Executive Order 202.6 are hereby modified to read as follows: Effective on March 22 at 8 p.m.: All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize. Each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% no later than March 22 at 8 p.m. Any essential business or entity providing essential services or functions shall not be subject to the in-person restrictions.
  • Matilda’s Law to protect New Yorkers age 70+ and those with compromised immune systems:
    • Remain indoors
    • Can go outside for solitary exercise
    • Pre-screen all visitors by taking their temperature
    • Wear a mask in the company of others
    • Stay at least 6 feet from others
    • Do not take public transportation unless urgent and absolutely necessary
  • Executive Order 202.12
    • Postpones the presidential primary to June 23 (versus April 28)
    • Postpones previously scheduled special elections in New York to June 23
    • Clarifies a previous order extending the parties allowable in a delivery room to include (+1)
  • Executive Order 202.13
    • “Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.”
  • Executive Order 202.14
    • Extends the Governor’s authority to modify policy and regulation due to COVID until May 7
    • Extends any of the directives put in place in prior EOs unless otherwise stated
      • Includes suspension some Open Meeting Law aspects
    • Requires all medical equipment being housed at other facilities around the state to be reported to DOH
    • Extends PAUSE act until April 29 which includes non-essential staff telecommuting, school closures and the prohibition of gatherings
      •  School districts must continue plans for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals, and childcare
    • Increases the fine for disregarding social distancing from $500 to up to $1000
    • Extends payment of insurance premiums for small or child-based health to June 1
    • Modifies the Estate and Trust Law
  • Executive Order 202.15
    • Amends Religious Corp Law in regard to parish elections
    • Delays the April 1 child transportation filing requirement for school districts
    • Extends those with different medical and tangential fields to continue to practice
    • Allows funeral directors from other states to practice in New York
    • Public hearings for local/state officials, local government or schools be postponed until June 1 if unable to convene remotely
    • Election Law amended so that an absentee ballot can be granted for any election held on or before June 23, 2020
    • Individual can apply electronically, with no requirement for in-person signature or appearance to be able to access an absentee ballot
  • Executive Order 202.16
    • Permit individuals to perform testing for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and its antibodies
    • NYC specific “no action” “no filing” letters for affordable housing, homeless shelters and other essential projects
    • All political caucus required to take place in April or June postponed until June 1
    • All essential businesses required to provide face coverings for employees when they are in direct contact with customers or members of the public
  • Executive Order 202.17
    • Effective Friday, April 17 at 8pm – everyone over the age of 2 must where a face-covering in public when they cannot maintain a safe, social distance (ie. Grocery shopping, pharmacy, liquor store)
  • Executive Order 202.18
    • Extends all elements of PAUSE thru May 15
      o Includes closure of schools (alternative curriculum, distribution of food, 180 day rule
      extension), non-essential WFH order, gathering restriction

      • Expansion of 202.17 requiring passengers and operators of for hire transportation to wear a
    • Requires nursing homes and similar facilities to notify family members within 24 hours if their
      loved one tests positive or dies due to COVID 19
    • Waives the 15 day waiting period in which a service retirement application must be on file
      before it becomes effective (retirement death benefit for COVID 19)
    • Allows for all new clients to be provided services under the Expanded In-Home Services for the
      Elderly Program without payment until future date where the individual can be assessed
    • Expands the Not-for-Profit Corporations Law to allow annual meetings of members to be held
      remotely or by electronic means
    • Allows those 60+ to receive home-delivered meals who previously were ineligible (softens
    • Permits pharmacy technicians and pharmacists to practice at an alternative location, including
      their home, as long as there is adequate security to prevent any Personal Health Information
      from being compromised
  • Executive Order 202.19
    • Provides businesses that receive the federal Paycheck Protection Program funding (and
      subsequently rehires employees,) flexibility in regards to the required notice beyond 90 days
    • Requires the DOH to establish a single, statewide coordinated testing prioritization process
    • Must include all laboratories in the state, both public and private
    • Laboratories must prioritize testing of entities or individuals as directed by this coordinated statewide process
    • Up to $10,000 civil penalty for labs that do not comply with police
    •  Increases fine from 202.18 in regards to state-notification from nursing homes to $2000
    • Prohibits local governments and local DOH from implementing any policy that would impede or supersede a state COVID 19 related directive
  • Executive Order 202.20
    • Waives the 60-day ceremony requirement for those with marriage licenses that will expire due to COVID 19
    • Waives the fee for obtaining a secondary license
    • Through May 18th, allows marriage license applications, marriage license distribution, or witnessing or solemnizing of marriage ceremonies using audio-video technology
    • Full list of requirements in EO
  • Executive Order 202.21
    • Expands EO 202.20 to allow any officiant, public or private, to perform or solemnize marriage ceremonies utilizing audio-video technology
  • Executive Order 202.22
    • Makes amendments to the Real Property Tax Law
      • Allows, at local option, for assessment rolls to be filed up to 30 days later thanrequired by law previously
      • Places a 10 day range for the Commissioner of T&F to certify different rates in regards to tax levies for municipal corporations
    • Amends the Laws of Westchester County:
      • Allows the WC Executive to negotiate with town or city officials for a decrease of taxes, levies and special assessments and enforcement of penalties
      • Requires Town Supervisor to waive penalty fees for tardy payment of county and county district taxes
    • Extends the deadline to June 1, for payment of final school taxes in Nassau County
  • Executive Order 202.23
    • Directs the Board of Elections to send all voters an absentee ballot application (with return postage) for primary and special elections occurring on June 23
    • Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to suspend or revoke operating certificates for nursing or adult care facilities not be in compliance with State policies and new
    • Postpones all state senate and assembly special elections that were to occur on April 28 to June 23
  • Executive Order 202.24
    • Authorizes licensed pharmacists to order COVID-19 tests
    • Permit licensed pharmacists to test patients suspected of a COVID-19 infection or its antibodies
    • Cancels the special election for City Council – 37th district
  • Executive Order 202.25
    • Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to approve and certify temporary, dedicated
      birthing sites
    • Expands EO 202.13 in regards to allowable persons in the delivery room to include a
      support person and/or a doula
    • Amends EO 202.10 to allow for elective surgeries at certain hospitals
      • At least 30 percent of hospital and intensive care unit beds must be available
      • Less than 10 COVID positive patients
        • 35 counties approved as of 4/30
  • Executive Order 202.26
    • Amends Election Law (see below)
      • Removes bid process for Board of Elections to provide absentee ballots
      • Requires districts to send report cards to SED by May 22 (18 days)
        • Department to compile data for district no later than June 2 (7 days)
      • All school district elections (minus big 5) will be moved to June 9
        • Schools boards required to provide 2 notices to public by May 13 (28 days)
        • This is a reduction from the typical 4 within 45-49 days
        • EO does not provide new timeline for budget hearing, as such it should be held 7-14 days before June 9
        • Postcard to include: date of election, date of hearing, definition of qualified
          voter and an absentee ballot
      • Authorizes school district libraries to conduct election/budget on June 9 via absentee
        ballot OR independently (libraries request)
      • No petition requirement for trustee
        • Any candidate who meets the minimum statutory requirements for Board
          members may and should be placed on the ballot, in alphabetical order
        • Any such candidate would need to declare within 30 days prior to the June 9
          vote (the usual deadline for submitting a nominating petition)
      • Confirms that public and association libraries may place propositions on school district
        absentee ballot
      • Eliminates the need for absentee ballot application for all library elections happening before July 1 – voters to be automatically mailed ballot with paid postage
      • Any special district, including library, that conducts an election or budget vote is
        rescheduled to September 15 (exclusion for school district – held June 9)

        • Petitions are suspended until further notice (forthcoming EO)
      • All village election moved to September 15
        • All party nominations shall be made by party caucus
        • All independent nominations for a village election are postponed (forthcoming EO)
        • Village officials elected on 9.15 to assume office as soon as the statement of canvass is filed with the village clerk
  • Executive Order 202.27
  • Executive Order 202.28
    • Until June 6:
      • All executive orders, 202 -202.14 are extended until June 6 unless otherwise
        suspended by 202.28. Suspensions include:

        • NYCRR/Education Law regarding practitioners and paramedics practicing in NYS
        • Mental Hygiene Law regarding community residential facilities, transfer and discharge of patients and, case management
        • Public Health Law changes regarding EMS
      • Security deposits for residential properties may be used for rent
        • Tenants should be eligible for unemployment insurance or otherwise
          facing financial hardship
        • Optional (not requirement)
        • Payments to replenish deposit to begin no later than 90 days after use, at 1/12 the amount used per month
        • All codes related to construction, energy conservation, building codes and
          all state and local laws which would have otherwise been superseded (that
          are under OPWDD jurisdiction)
      • No evictions of residential or commercial properties through August 5 (60 days beginning June 20)
      • All schools statewide remained closed through their academic year
        • Districts must continue to provide alternative instruction, distribution of meals and childcare
      • No landlord to charge late rent fee from 3/20-8/20
      • Any absentee ballot application mailed by BOE must only list primary and special
        elections for June 23

        • BOE responsible for providing instructions to voters for completing application
      • EO 202.8 amending Criminal Procedure Law is further modified. Changes include
        electronic appearances and hearings.
    • Executive Order 202.29
      • Extends the State of Emergency that allows EO 202.15-202.21 to remain in effect until
        June 7

        • NY PAUSE to expire on May 15
    • Executive Order 202.30
      • Requires all nursing homes and all adult care facilities, including all adult homes,
        enriched housing programs and assisted living residences to test personnel twice a week
        for COVID 19 (until June 10)

        • Any positive test result must be reported to DOH by 5pm the day following test
      • All nursing homes and adult care facilities required to provide the DOH a certification of
        compliance with this Executive Order by May 15

        • Any facility that does not comply will have their operating certificate suspended
          or revoked
        • Initial fine of $2000 for non-compliance
          • Building penalty up to $10,000 per violation/per day
      • Any personnel of a nursing home or adult care facility who refuse to be tested for
        COVID-19 is considered to have outdated records & health assessments and should be
        prohibited from practicing
      • General hospitals may not discharge patients to a nursing home unless the recipient
        facility can certify they are able to properly care for the patient

        • In addition, patients cannot be discharged until they have a negative COVID
    • Executive Order 202.31
      • Extends the state disaster declaration until June 13
      • Extends NY PAUSE until May 28
        •  In effect for regions until they meet the benchmarks needed for Phase One
    • Executive Order 202.32
      • Allows clinical laboratories to accept and examine specimens for COVID-19 testing,
        from personnel of nursing homes and adult care facilities
      • Allows physicians to order COVID-19 tests for individuals not previously listed as
      • Extends the deadline for property tax payment by 21 days for requested areas
      • Allows racetracks to open, state-wide, without fans
      • Allows gatherings of 10 or less for Memorial Day celebrations and religious purposes
    • Executive Order 202.33
      • Permits gatherings of 10 or less for any occasion moving forward
    • Executive Order 202.34
      • Authorizes business operators and building owners (and their employees) to deny access to or request an individual’s departure from their premises if they do not adhere to EO 202.17 (mask or face covering over the age of 2)
        • Businesses must apply directive in a manner consistent with the American with Disabilities Act and Human Rights Law
    • Executive Order 202.35
    • Expands the list of eligible businesses and entities to re-open under NY Forward – Phase 2
      • Includes: Professional Services; Administrative Support; Information Technology; Real estate services; Building and Property Management; Leasing, Rental, and Sales Services; Retail In-store Shopping; Rental, Repair, and Cleaning ; Barbershops and Hair Salon (limited services), and Motor Vehicle Leasing, Rental, and Sales
      • Permits five regions to begin Phase Two on Friday, May 29 at 1:00pm
        • Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, and the North Country
      • Other regions become eligible when/if they continue to meet CDC criteria and approval of health experts as chosen by the state (minimum of 14 days between phases)
    • Executive Order 202.36
      • Extends the period to pay property tax without interest or penalty for areas where the Chief Executive Officer requested such
      • Retroactively extends payment for a village in Nassau County by 21 days
      • Through July 2, allows for questionnaires completed through electronic means to be sufficient for practioner-patient relationship
      • Lists the entities in-eligible to open under Phase Two
      • Allows auto racetracks to begin operation on June 3 (no spectators)
      • Allows outdoor, low-risk recreational activities in any region that meets DOH Phase One metrics
    • Executive Order 202.37
      • Requires school districts to provide special education services and instruction, in-person, for the Summer term
    • Executive Order 202.38
      • Extends EOs 202-202.14 and 202.27-202.28 until July 6
      • Authorizes building owners and operators to require individuals to undergo temperature checks before being admitted
        • If individual refuses, operators may refuse admittance
      • Allows restaurants and bars to serve patrons outdoors
        • Must comply with DOH guidance
        • Businesses may expand area of service under SLA
      • EO 202.35 modified to allow services in houses of worship at 25% or less, provided they are in Phase Two
        • Must comply with DOH guidance
    • Executive Order 202.39
      • Extends the period for absentee ballot retrieval for school districts to include:
        • June 9 at 5pm – hand delivery
        • June 16 at 5pm – mail delivery
      • Exempts school districts from completing APPR for the 2019-20 school year
      • Allows BOE or trustees, with specific agreement by a superintendent, to with (a) appoint tenure to classroom teachers and principals or (b) extend determination by one-year
      • Modifies EO 202.38 allowing restaurants and bars to serve patrons outdoors
        • Regions in Phase Two only
      • Modifies EO 202.4 that required local governments to allow non-essential personnel to work from home/not charge accruals to:
        • Apply only to local governments that have not met Phase 2
          In addition:
          o Once a local government has operated under Phase Two, for two weeks, they may bring all non-essential employees back
    • Executive Order 202.40
      • Modifies 202.3 regarding the testing of nursing home and adult care facility staff to include those
        in Phase Two Only; once per week
      • Allows school districts to hold a revote, no sooner than July 9, if their original budget vote fails
        on the 16th
    • Executive Order 202.41
      • Declares entities eligible to open under Phase Three
        • May begin June 12 (Finger Lakes, CNY, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and the North Country)
        • Other regions will begin P3 in chronological order to when they meet CDC criteria and have operated under P2 for at least two weeks
      • Extends EO 202.35 & 202.38 regarding the postponement, cancellations or restriction of nonessential gatherings (i.e. NY PAUSE) until further notice and by act of new EO
    • Executive Order 202.42
      • Modifies previous EO (NY Pause) regarding permissible gathering sizes. As of today, groups of 25 or less may gather in regions that are operating under Phase 3.
    • Executive Order 202.43
      • Through July 18:
        • Allow the Nassau County Executive to extend the final payment of school taxes until July 1, 2020
        • For victims of crime of domestic violence:
          • Allows for awards for relocation expenses to include temporary lodging (hotels/motels)
          • Expends the definition of criminal justice agency to include certified residential
            program for victims of domestic violence
          • Clarifies the review measures taken by the Office of Victim Services for claims of violence
        • Requires businesses serving alcohol (for on-premise or take-out) to inspect, monitor,
          and supervise the area within 100 feet of their licensed premises

          • Goal is to ensure that any consumption of food or beverage comports with the
            applicable open container ordinances, and the social distancing and face covering
          • If they fail to do so, the SLA and DoH may order an immediate halt of service
        • Allows for county DMV to resume in-person transaction, by appointment only, in
          regions operating under Phase 3
        • Extends the due date for property tax by 3 weeks for counties/villages of request (full
          list in order)
    • Executive Order 202.44
      • Extends the following, previously modified laws, until July 21
        • Property Tax Law
          • Allows for tentative & final tax rolls to be filed up to 30 days late as well as modifying hearing deadline (21 days after filing) and notice (online only)
          • Authorizes the Commissioner of DoTF to certify final rates and ratios within 10 days of that set by law
        • Education & Public Health Law
          • Allows licensed pharmacists to continue ordering and operating limited laboratory tests (COVID and anti body)
          • Allows physicians to order COVID 19 tests for self collection without having a prior physician-patient relationship
          • Allows clinical labs to accept and examine COVID tests from nursing and adult care facilities and report results to originating facility
          • Allows the CoH to suspend or revoke operating licenses of nursing or adult care facilities that do not comply with prior EO
          • General hospitals, ambulatory surgery center, office-based surgery practices and treatment centers must continue to meet CDC and NY Forward standards (bed capacity, elective surgery, general operations)
          • Allows for those practicing under a previous EO that may not be licensed or registered in NY, to continue for an additional 30 days for COVID-19 response
        • NYCRR
          • Allows DoH to approve and certify dedicated birthing sites
        • Election Law
          • Any and all village and town elections are scheduled for September 15
            • Party nominations made by party caucus no later than August 20
              • Must be filed by August 22
            • All independent nominations are postponed until NY Pause is suspended
            • For any village or town election that had its ballot fully determined by June 21, may proceed with the same ballot and does not need to reprint(allows for inaccurate election date to be listed)
            • Any provision of the election law or village law that was used to conduct an election from March – June applies to September 15 election
            • Officials elected on September 15 assume office as the statement of canvass is filed with the clerk.
              • Term of office is same as if the election had taken place on original date
          • Clarifies that any voter that is eligible to vote in a primary or special election (held on June 23) should have been send an absentee ballot with paid return postage
          • Permits absentee ballots submitted by an eligible voter to be cast and canvassed, for a cancelled or rescheduled election, UNLESS they appear to vote on the new date
          • Requires the BoE of any election held before July 1, to maintain a voting system that allows for private and independent ballot submission
          • Allows Supreme Courts to hear election matters on election day by phone or
            video conference
          • Prohibits absentee ballots from being distributed at facilities but rather by mail or personal delivery (to individual)
          • State Assembly & Senate special elections remain cancelled and will be filled at general election
          • Queens Borough President election remains cancelled and will be filled at
            general election
          • The special election for 37th D City Council remains cancelled and will be filled
            at the general election
          • Reconfirms that special districts elections including libraries are rescheduled to September 15 and that collection of signatures for nominations remains suspended until further notice
          • Circulation, filing and collection of any inde3pendent nomination petitions for any office under EL or special election (under 202.13) remains suspended
        • Misc.
          • Racetracks are eligible to operate as of June 1, provided that no fans are in attendance
            and only essential personnel are on site
    • Executive Order 202.45
      • Authorizes CoL to study/issue results regarding experience rate charges permitted by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
      • Deems an employee ineligible for paid sick or other paid benefits by their employer if they voluntarily travel to a state with a positive COVID rate of 10/100,000 or 10%
        • Applies only if the travel was not taken as part of employment or at direction of the
      • Allows the Mayor of Buffalo to waive additional fines from unpaid city taxes
      • Extends the submission date for property taxes without penalty by 3 weeks for the Village of Ossining and the Village of Pomona
      • Allows gatherings of up to 50 people in areas that have reached Phase 4
        • Indoors: Must not exceed 50% of max capacity
      • Extends EO 202.41, restricting the operation of businesses, unless eligible to operate under previous Phase of are listed below:
        • Effective June 26 – Phase 4 industries to include Higher Education, Film & Music Production, Low-risk indoor arts and entertainment, Low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment; and professional sports (without fans)
      • Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier and North Country
      • Any previous directive that restricted operations for industries or businesses that are now eligible to operate under P1-P4 should be considered – superseded
      • EO 202.44 is amended to allow all general hospitals to perform elective surgeries and procedures as long as they continue following DoH criteria
      • Schools must continue to offer meals and childcare
        • Emphasis on serving children of essential workers
        • Meals may be provided by an alternative entity
      • If students don’t have access to alternative entity, the school MUST provide the
    • Executive Order 202.46
      • Independent nominations for offices filled during the general election of village elections must be
        filled between July 27 and July 30

        • Certificate of acceptance or declination must be filed by August 3
          • Certificate to fill the vacancy from declination must be filed by August 6
      • Allows for the collection of petition signatures beginning July 1 for independent nominations
      • Any signatures made before July 1 or later than July 30 cannot be counted towards petition
      • For any general election in 2020 signature requirements for independent nomination in
        • Non-statewide elections are reduced to meet whichever of the following are least:
          • 3 3/10 % of total number of votes cast for the governor in the last election in designated area
          • A number equal to 70% of the statutory minimum (includes village elections)
        • State-wide elections are reduced to:
          • At least 30,000 valid signatures
          • 330 must be from each of one-half of the congressional districts for the
    • Executive Order 202.47
      • Extends the following through August 2:
        • Peace Officers may continue to enforce provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and Public Health Law as modified by previous EO
        • Reaffirms revote for failed school district budget will be on July 28
          • District is required to send a postcard with all pertinent information no mater than July 7
            • Information can be provided via email if the district possesses a valid
          • Proposing district is operating under a contingency budget from July 1-28
          • Property tax report cards for districts seeking a revote must be sent to SED no later than July 14
            • SED to provide compiled data online by July 21
          • Allows all eligible voters to cast a ballot via absentee for revote
        • Use of fireworks is prohibited and is punishable by law
          • Fine (individual) or suspension/revocation of license (for business)
        • Practitioner-Patient relationships may continue to be established via asynchronous electronic interfaces
        • Racetracks may continue to operate (without fans)
      • Allows any political party meeting or convention to be held by telephone or video conference
        • Notice with instructions to participants must be provided prior
        • Proxy voting at such events is permitted
        • Individual attending meeting may hold up to 10 proxies
      • All barbershops, hair salons, tattoo/piercing parlors and related personal care services are
        eligible to operate (in compliance with DoH guidance) in Phase 2 regions
      • Any region operating under Phase 1 may allow outdoor, low risk recreational activities
    • Executive Order 202.48
      • Video lottery gaming, casinos, gyms/fitness related entities, movie theatres and places of public amusement remain ineligible to operate until future EO directive
      • Extends the following through August 5:
        •  EOs 202.27, 202.28 and 202.38 (unless superseded by subsequent EO)
          • Includes Open Meetings Law
        • Article 11-a & 11-b of State Finance Law
        • Restricts NYC from operating indoor food services under Phase 3
      • The following modifications are no longer in effect as of July 7:
        • CoE had the ability to reduce instructional days under Education Law
          • Superseded by Chapter 107 of the Laws of 2020
        • Allowed the Office of Mental Health and its providers to transport individuals receiving
        • Allowed the Director of the Authorities Budget Office to disregard deadlines not met by local and state entities during the pandemic
          • However, 60 day extension previously mentioned remains
        • Suspended the requirement for in-person appearances by a defendant in Court
          • However, the following measures are continued:
            • 90 day appearance ticket
            • Grand jury follow-up appearances continue to be suspended for 30 days
            • Speedy trial time-limitations remain suspended for at least 30 days
            • Electronic appearances may continue for certain pleas under Criminal Procedure Law
            • Incarcerated defendants may continue to appear virtually with their counsel
            • Allows for protective orders to be utilized at preliminary hearings for an addition 30 days
          • Business Corporation Law sections 602, 605 and 708
            • Superseded by Chapter 122 of the Laws of 2020
          • Banking Law Section 39
            • Superseded by Chapters 112 & 126 of the Laws of 2020
          • Insurance Law and Banking Law provisions suspended by Executive Order 202.13
          • Sections of the Tax Law which have been addressed by the Commissioner
          • Prohibition of eviction from residential and commercial properties due to nonpayment
            • Superseded by Chapters 112,126 & 127 of the Laws of 2020
    • Executive Order 202.49
      • Extends Executive Orders 202.15 – 202.21 and 202.39 (which includes language from 202.29),
        unless superseded by subsequent directive, until August 6

        • Suspends modifications contained in the above referenced orders including:
          • Sections within the Religious Corporations Law
          • Superseded by Chapter 122 of Laws of 2020
          • Multiple Environmental Conservation Law Articles
          • Superseded by other directive
          • Portions of Real Property & Multiple Dwellings Laws
          • Portions of Not-for-Profit Corporations Law & NYCRR
          • Portions of Public Health Law
    • Executive Order 202.50
      • Extends Executive Orders 202.30 & 202.40, unless superseded by subsequent directive, until
        August 8
      • Allows shopping malls to open in regions operating under Phase 4
        • Must comply with DoH guidance (includes air filtration systems)
    • Executive Order 202.51
      • • Modifications in 202.31,202.41, 202.42 and 202.43 that have not been superseded or suspended
        by another order are extended through August 12.

        • Exceptions include Nassau Cunty Admin Code Sec. 5-18.0(2) and any prior extension
          for payment of property taxes
        • Modifies remaining library elections by:
          • Reducing the quantity of signatures needed for a funding petition (3 3/10 % of total
            number of votes cast in last gubernatorial election)
          • Decreasing the quantity of signatures needed for a nominating petition (70% of
            statutory minimum)

            • Each must be submitted to the County Board of Elections no less than 30 days
              prior to the scheduled election
    • Executive Order 202.52
      • Through August 15, established licensed by the SLA must serve food with the purchase of alcohol
        • SLA providing separate guidance for businesses to abide by
    • Executive Order 202.53
      • Modifications in 202.22 – 202.26, 202.32-202.35 and 202.44-202.45 that have not been superseded or suspended by another order are extended until August 20
        • Exception: Extension of sales and use taxes payment without penalty
      • Prohibits the operation of indoor common portions of retail shopping malls and low-risk indoor arts and entertainment under Phase 4 in NYC
        • Eligible to operate P4 as of July 20
      • Extends certain provisions of EO 202.45, which restricted certain businesses or places from operating, until a future, superseding order is released. Ex. Gyms
  • COVID 19 Executive Order Breakdown, New York Library Association

Library Specific Resources

Meetings and Governance

Meetings and Governance

  • Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency
    • “Article 7 of the Public Officers Law, to the extent necessary to permit any public body to meet and take such actions authorized by the law without permitting in public in-person access to meetings and authorizing such meetings to be held remotely by conference call or similar service, provided that the public has the ability to view or listen to such proceeding and that such meetings are recorded and later transcribed.”
  • GoToMeeting Business Licenses provide recording and transcription features.
  • Executive Order 2020.13
    • “Any school board, library board, or village election scheduled to take place in April or May of 2020 is hereby postponed until at least June 1, 2020, and subject to further directive as to the timing, location or manner of voting for such elections.”



Public Library Statements

Sierra & Tech Support Documentation

Delivery Services

Delivery Services

Update June 12

  1. Full restart of 5-day-a-week delivery services: Monday, June 22.
  2. Drivers will only stop at libraries who have reported they are open that week.

Update April 17

  1. The Governor has extended New York on PAUSE through May 15th. Accordingly we have extended the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery Services, ILL, and in-person events to this date as well.

Update April 6

  1. We have extended the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery and ILL Services to April 29th in line with the Governor’s latest announcement.  If your closed dates have changed since the last time you let us know, please use this online form to update your closure dates and don’t forget to put a ticket in to to change your closed dates.

Update March 24

  1. In consultation with the leadership of the Directors Association and MHLS Board we will extend the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery & ILL Services through April 19th, 2020 in alignment with the NYS Executive Order 202.8.
    1. A reassessment of this date will be undertaken the week of April 13th.

Update March 15

In the face of the unprecedented spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the corresponding action by federal, state, county, local and library officials in the past week, the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) will temporarily suspend holds and the delivery system this week.

This decision was developed in consultation with MHLS staff, the leadership of the MHLS Directors Association and the MHLS Board of Trustees. As you can imagine, this decision was not taken lightly. A combination of public health concerns as well as the logistic realities of our cooperative public library system call for this measure to support the majority of our libraries who have decided to suspend public services during this challenging time.

Suspension of Holds and Delivery Services to Member Libraries:

    1. Holds will be suspended effective 3:00pm Monday, March 16, 2020 for all libraries.
    2. Existing holds will also be suspended at this time, and will be unsuspended when delivery resumes.
    3. For member libraries who have notified MHLS staff of their intent to close on or before Monday, March 16, 2020 delivery will be suspended on Monday, March 16, 2020.
    4. Delivery will be suspended for all remaining member libraries effective Thursday, March 19, 2020. The last day of regular delivery will be Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
    5. Delivery Services will be suspended until at least Tuesday, March 31, 2020 with a reassessment of these services conducted by MHLS staff, the leadership of the MHLS Directors Association and the MHLS Board of Trustees by Friday, March 27, 2020.

Business Continuity
Human Resources & Sick Leave

Human Resources & Sick Leave


Library Staff Diagnosed with COVID-19

Library Staff Diagnosed with COVID-19

In the event that a library staff member tests positive for COVID-19, contact your county health department for guidance on next steps. Confidentiality of medical information for staff members should be observed in this situation.

Discrimination Relating to the Coronavirus Under the New York State Human Rights Law

Library Patrons Who May Be Symptomatic

Library Patrons Who May Be Symptomatic

Libraries may communicate, both inside and outside the library, messages encouraging patrons not to use the library facility if they are experiencing symptoms of infectious disease (e.g. signage, email newsletters, etc.). It is permissible to ask patrons to follow common public health advice (e.g. good cough and sneeze etiquette, hand washing). Libraries should not approach or target any individual patrons or groups of patrons exhibiting symptoms of respiratory illness and ask them to reconsider their use of the library. There are many non-contagious conditions that may cause a person to display symptoms.

Discrimination Relating to the Coronavirus Under the New York State Human Rights Law

Reopening Resources

Reopening Resources

Diagnosed Case Where Person Visited the Library

Diagnosed Case Where Person Visited the Library

Contact your county health department for guidance on what to do if a patron who visited the library is determined to have been infected with COVID-19. Patron privacy should still be considered in this situation.

See the response to this question from the Western New York Resource Council’s Ask a Lawyer for more information.

Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

Counting Programs and Hours for the Annual Report

Counting Programs and Hours for the Annual Report

The Division of Library Development (DLD) has provided guidance below for reporting statistics for the 2020 Annual Report, which will be completed in February 2021, that notes the current state of the annual report instructions as they relate to counting programs and hours open. This is not reflective of the reality of delivering library services in the COVID-19 era. MHLS recommends that all online programs offered and attendance at these programs be counted as well as counts for other services delivered remotely, regardless of the current annual report instructions. All libraries should make a local determination for how they will collect statistics for their own decision-making and for reporting to their local stakeholders; it may be necessary to track statistics separately for the Annual Report.

From DLD

  • Counting Virtual Programs and Attendance
    • The Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries currently asks for the number of programs and program attendance by age group (children, young adults, and adults). Currently the definitions, which are Federal definitions, do not include virtual programs. The State Library encourages libraries to collect data on the number of live virtual programs and live virtual program attendance, and also data on recorded virtual programs and recorded virtual program attendance, whether offered through the library’s Facebook page, or the library’s web site, or through some other platform.The State Library recommends that virtual programming data be collected separately from data collected about physical face-to-face programs. Data about live virtual programs should be recorded separately from data about recorded virtual programs. As the State Library gets more guidance from IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) about counting live and recorded virtual programs and program attendance, we will share this information with library systems/libraries.Collecting data about virtual programs will enable libraries to report this important program activity data to their governing boards, the community and also share the data with researchers in future surveys.
  • Counting Hours Open
    • The State Library has also received questions as to how libraries should report data about “Hours Open” for 2020. During the past few difficult weeks, some libraries continued to provide limited services for the public even though the Library Building was closed. The question received was: “Should these hours of limited services be reported under HOURS OPEN?” The current definition for HOURS OPEN is: “This is the number of annual public service hours for each outlet only. Include the actual hours open for public service. For bookmobiles, count only the hours during which the bookmobile is open to the public. Minor variations in public service hours need not be included. Extensive hours closed to the public due to natural disasters or other events should be excluded from the count even if the staff is scheduled to work.”This means counting only those hours that libraries are FULLY open to the public.Again, as with Virtual Programs, libraries that offered limited services are encouraged to keep a separate record tracking the hours when the Library was closed to the public, but the Library offered limited services at the Library Building such as curbside delivery, a drive-up window or lobby only services. This data may be used in future reports to governing boards, to the local community and also to share with researchers in future surveys.
    • Representative from the State Library have stated that curbside hours should not be included in the count for hours that the library was open open in the annual report. Additionally, DLD previously stated that hours should not be counted for the period when the library building was not open to the public.We’re working with DLD to see where these hours can be included in the report, so that we provide an accurate picture of the incredible work libraries having been doing to support their communities in spite of the many hurdles created by the pandemic.Curbside hours as well as the hours your library was open for online programming and other support while the physical building was closed to the public should be recorded for reporting to your local stakeholders.

Other Resources

Other Resources

Marketing of Online Resources

We have pulled together marketing materials that you can use to promote your online collection and resources to patrons that may not be able to access the physical library. Buttons and images for e-resources are available for you to use on your own websites or to be requested for hosted sites.


Google has announced Google Ad Grants. If you’re a qualifying nonprofit, you’ll receive $10,000 USD in in-kind Google Ads advertising every month.

Overdrive and Libby

Overdrive and Libby

Libby Marketing Materials


Spotlight on OverDrive




RB Digital Magazines

RB Digital Magazines

Social Media Text



Your library card gives you access to a wide variety of eMagazines through @recordedbooks. You can even choose to get notified when new issues of your favorite magazine are added. Get started at  



Use your library card to access hundreds of magazine titles on your favorite device. Visit our website to get started. #magazine #magazines #rbdigital #libraries #librariesofinstagram  #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community



Your library card gives you access to hundreds of magazine titles through @recordedbooks. Start reading your favorites today,  


Tumble Books

Tumble Books


Your library card gives you access to over 1,100 children’s books through @TumbleBooksThese animated, talking picture books teach kids the joy of reading. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 



Click here to download the moving image file.

Use your library card to access over 1,100 children’s books through @tumblebooklibrary. Visit our website to get started. #ebook #childrensbooks #kidsbooks  #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community 



Your library card gives you access to over 1,100 children’s books through @TumbleBooks. Start reading with your child today, [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 




Universal Class

Universal Class

Social Media Text



@universalclass offers 500+ lifelong learning classes online. All you need is your library card to start learning whenever it’s convenient for you. Get started at 



All you need is a library card to start learning! Universal Class has more than 500 lifelong learning classes to choose from. Visit our website to get started. #onlinelearning #learning #learnsomethingneweveryday #elearning #libraries #librariesofinstagram  #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community



@universalclass is available to all MHLS member library patrons! Your library card gives you access to more than 500 online courses. Start today,  



Woman meditating

Mango Languages



Use your library card to start a conversation with @MangoLanguages. Choose from over 70 languages and learn how to speak with people around the world. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 



Start a conversation with @mangolanguagesYour library card gives you access to lessons for over 70 languages. Visit our website to get started. #language #learning #conversation  #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community 



Your library card gives you access to lessons for more than 70 languages with @MangoLanguages. Start reading with your child today, [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 




Online Library Card Registration

Online Library Card Registration



Only our building is closed. Your local library is still here for you! Use your library card to get online resources 24/7. Need a library cardWe’ve got you covered. To register for a library card visit [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 



Your local library is still here for you! Use your library card to access online resources 24/7. Don’t have a library card? No problem. Visit our website to register online and start exploring all your library has to offer. #library #librariesofinstagram #community 



The building may be closed but your local library is always here for you! Access online resources 24/7 with your library card. Need a library card? Register online. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE] 

















Curbside Pickup - Holds - Stay Safe

Curbside Pickup



Stay Safe

Engaging Patrons

We have collected the following resources to help you engage with your patrons online. We will be updating this list so check back!

Hosting Online Meetings

Virtual Storytime

Virtual Storytime

There has been a lot of debate over whether or not authors have permission to allow people to read their books online. Given the potential concerns about copyright, we are recommending that if you have a virtual storytime, you only read books that publishers have given people permission to read.


Here is a list of publishers that have granted libraries permission to use their works in virtual storytimes, along with their guidelines.


Here is a list of music artists that have granted libraries permission to use their works in virtual storytimes, along with their guidelines.


Amigos Library Services has provided access to the archived webinar Know & Go: Spotlight on Virtual Storytimes. This can be helpful if you want to host a virtual storytime but aren’t sure where to start.


Google has provided a webpage on how to Teach from Home with tools to help you host a virtual storytime if you have access to G Suite.


If you’re camera-shy or don’t have the technology to host a virtual storytime, there are plenty of videos online of actors, authors, and even astronauts reading stories for you to share with your community.


Storyline Online – Watch celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.

Storytime from Space – Watch astronauts read books in the International Space Station.

The Spanish ExperimentWell-known children’s stories are translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Read along in Spanish or English.

The Fable Cottage –  The Fable Cottage features high quality, modern retellings of classic fables in languages like Spanish, German, and French.

Pete the Cat Virtual Storytime – Pete the Cat creator James Dean has been hosting live readings and drawing tutorials on Instagram every day.

Save with Stories – Actors and actresses read a different story on Instagram every day.

Mac Barnett will be reading a book aloud each day at 3 pm ET on Instagram.

Oliver Jeffers will be reading one of his books every weekday at 2 pm ET on Instagram.

Dav Pilkey at Home – Dav Pilkey at Home will feature new video content created by Pilkey himself on Friday mornings at 8 a.m. ET on social media channels and the websites of the Library of Congress and Scholastic.

Free ebooks about the Coronavirus – This collection of free ebooks for kids includes books both in English and Spanish.

Online Learning

Universal Class – All libraries in our system have access to Universal Class. Universal Class brings libraries lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs). More than 500 courses are available, and all are designed and led by professional instructors to build deeper understanding and mastery of subject matter. Universal Class includes videos, assignments, quizzes, tests, and options for social media interaction with other learners. Patrons may take multiple classes and learn at their own pace.


New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Free Webinars – From March 17 through April 3, 2020 the NYG&B will be offering free webinars on genealogy and New York history.


Scholastic Learn At Home – Scholastic is offering these free classes for children. Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers.


Imagineering in a Box – This is a free online program that brings together the diverse talents of Disney Imagineers around the world for a one-of-a-kind learning experience. The series offers 32 videos in which Imagineers share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – to create immersive experiences.


Hour of Code  – Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages.


Online Cookery School – These videos and recipes take patrons by the hand, step by step. They can learn to cook in their own time and at their own pace.


College Admissions and GED Test Preparation Resources from EBSCO LearningExpress – Free access through June 30, 2020


Skype a Scientist – Skype a Scientist matches scientists with people all around the world! Families at home during this pandemic can get a scientist virtually into their living room and learn about all sorts of topics.


Virtual Coding Clubs – Free drop-in coding club sessions to help support students and educators during this time of school and library closures.

Live Cameras and Events

Live Virtual Concerts – NPR has curated this list of live virtual concerts people can watch online. The list is updated regularly.


Live Classical Concerts – The New York Classical Review has a list of streaming classical events, mostly free, that are available online.


Center for Puppetry Arts – The Center for Puppetry Arts has expanded its Digital Learning platform to include live streaming. Enjoy curriculum-based workshops and Digital Learning interactive puppet shows from the safety and comfort of home.


Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – Mo Willems is hosting a daily livestream doodle session for kids at 1:00 EST


Draw Everyday with JJK – Jarrett J. Krosoczka is hosting a drawing studio on weekdays at 2 pm.


Berkner Breaks with the Laurie Berkner Band – Laurie Berkner is hosting concerts from her living room on weekday mornings. Join Laurie on Facebook Live at 10 am EST or catch up later.


SafariLIVE – WildEarth runs expert-hosted live safaris in the heart of the African wilderness. Experience one of the most beautiful places on earth and interact with their experts in real-time.


Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, NY – At 4:00 PM every Wednesday, join the Trevor Zoo staff for a fun-filled, educational experience.


Virtual Marine Biology Camp –  Scientists running Seattle-based Oceans Initiative are streaming videos Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m. PST and providing activities to help families occupy some time while kids are out of school due to the coronavirus.


Stay At Home Online Concerts – Stay at Home Fest harnesses the power of the internet for good, by creating a central hub to find all the fantastic decentralized events that are happening online, and aiding music discovery during the global pandemic.


Virtual Visits

Animal Cameras at the San Diego Zoo – Watch live footage from the San Diego Zoo.


Aquarium Cameras at the Georgia Aquarium – Watch live footage from Georgia Aquarium.


Google Arts and Culture – Visit museums and explore artwork with Google Arts and Culture.


British Museum – Explore artifacts that are kept at the British Museum with a fun and interactive website.


Online Interactive Programs

Drawdown EcoChallenge – Drawdown EcoChallenge provides tools and inspiration to turn intention into action and gives participants a fun and social way to think about and act on proven solutions to reverse global warming. Over eighty actions within seven challenge categories provide participants with diverse options to reduce carbon usage.


Create an Online Book Group – Using Facebook or Goodreads, make an online book group where members can meet virtually.


Zooniverse – Challenge your patrons to contribute to scientific research! The Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets useful to the wider research community, and many publications.


Kahoot Trivia – Host an online trivia event using Kahoot! You can make up your own trivia questions or use a set of questions made by another Kahoot user. Kahoot will be hosting two webinars on how to host a game remotely, one on March 20, and one on March 24.


NASA’s GLOBE Observer App – Through NASA’s GLOBE Observer app, libraries can help patrons and families become citizen scientists helping NASA track changes in clouds, water, plants, and other life in support of Earth system science research while practicing physical distancing and engaging with nature.

Promoting Programs with

Promoting Programs with

Libraries that are interested in promoting and sharing their online classes and events across a wider platform are all invited to use the website, which was created by the Office of Cultural Education. Sharing these events statewide could help to extend access to online story times, book chats, and lectures across the state.

Click here for information on creating an account and posing events to the site.

Remote Staff Training

The following are remote staff training and education opportunities that are available to staff working from home.


COVID-19 Specific Training


2020 Summer Reading Program Webinars


Webinar Archives


Online Learning

  • Universal Class – provides certificates of completion and training on many job skills and software.
  • Library Journal – complete online access (Email: Password: LJfullaccess
  • Tech Talk – Due to the nationwide shutdown of schools, libraries and academic institutions, and the resulting need for more online learning, Shared Results International is making Tech-Talk content available for free for students, teachers and patrons.


Upcoming Events