After closing most parts of the Library building for the past seven days in the wake of four positive COVID-19 cases among our staff, we are pleased to reopen beginning tomorrow, Thursday, March 11th, for our usual 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours.
We made the decision to restrict access to the Library building last Thursday and Friday in order to complete contact tracing and have a cleaning crew do a deep sanitization of all public and staff spaces. As a result of contact tracing, a total of 10 librarians were mandated to quarantine, per CDC recommendations. That temporary loss of staff made it impossible for us to appropriately and safely staff the building; we therefore restricted public access to our Community Room holds and returns over the weekend and through today.
I am pleased to report that we are aware of no additional positive cases either among staff or Library users resulting from contact with any of the four affected librarians. We continue to make the health and safety of our patrons and staff our highest priority. As we have since we reopened the Library in July 2020, we will continue to strictly adhere to the following protocols:
All individuals must wear a mask in the Library at all times and maintain a distance of at least six feet from all others. We have masks available for anyone who needs one.
In-person visits and computer sessions are limited to 30-minutes per person, per day.
Patrons using public computers and copiers must wear disposable gloves and are asked to sanitize all surfaces, including the keyboard, mouse, etc., using disinfectant wipes before and after use. We provide gloves, wipes, and hand sanitizer throughout the building.
All public and staff spaces in the Library are cleaned and sanitized throughout the day by our full-time custodian. Additionally, each night a cleaning crew does another round of cleaning and sanitization.
The Library’s air quality is excellent; our HVAC system is state of the art, with HEPA filtration.
All returned Library materials are placed in quarantine for several days before being returned to circulation.
All Darien Library staff must fill out a Daily Health Questionnaire. Any staff member experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, those who have been in close contact with individuals who have tested positive, or anyone returning from a trip to a country or state on the quarantine list must remain home and cannot return to the Library until such time as quarantine protocols and/or negative test criteria have been met, per CDC guidelines.
Governor Lamont recently announced that all current COVID restrictions on businesses and nonprofit organizations, including public libraries, will be lifted on March 19th. While we applaud the tremendous progress that the State of Connecticut has made in combatting this virus and bringing our numbers under control, the Library will continue to maintain the above health and safety protocols until such time as we can ensure that both patrons and staff are safe.
As more people get fully vaccinated, we will be reviewing all of our current restrictions, working collaboratively with you, our community members; our staff; and local health experts to begin a responsible return to full Library service over the coming months.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of concern and support for our dedicated and hardworking staff. Thank you.
Please see below for our full list of when and what library services will be available over the next few days.