COVID-19 Resources

COVID Updates from MHLS


State-Mandated Safety Plans

  • Association libraries must maintain an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan that meets the requirements outlined in the NYS HERO Act. These plans must be implemented in the event the New
    York State Commissioner of Health designates a particular disease as an airborne infectious disease.

  • Public Libraries are required to maintain a “Pandemic Response Plan” that allows for the continuation of operations in the event the governor declares a public health emergency involving a communicable disease.
    • Plans must include:
      • Lists and descriptions of positions considered essential
      • Descriptions of protocols to follow to enable all non-essential employees to work remotely
      • Description of how employers would stagger work shifts to reduce overcrowding
      • Protocols for PPE
      • Protocol for when an employee is exposed to disease
      • Protocol for documenting hours and work locations for essential workers
      • Protocol for working with essential employees’ localities for identifying emergency housing if needed
      • Any other requirement determined by the New York State Department of Health, such as testing and contact tracing

Information from the Division of Library Development

  • Update January 3, 2022
    • The State Librarian has provided the following statement regarding the issue of regularly scheduled open hours to meet the minimum standards:
      • “On January 1, libraries must provide regularly scheduled open hours that meet minimum requirements. These regularly scheduled hours must be for in-person services; curbside and lobby services no longer count toward hours open.
        We understand that libraries might have to close temporarily due to operational issues like temporary staff shortages. As always, those temporary deviations do not have to be reported and will not count against regularly scheduled hours open. However, the expectation is that otherwise libraries will remain open and serving the public through in-person services.”


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