Coronavirus: Guidelines and Precautions for Public Libraries

The situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving daily. Please see updates below. The OLC is continuing to monitor the latest information related to COVID-19 and is working with Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

[Update: March 10, 2020] — At this time, all OLC events and conferences will be held as planned, including the Public Library Fiscal Officer Conference (CPIM) and Technical Services Retreat on April 15-16, Legislative Day on April 21, and Spring Trustee Dinners. As you know, the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving daily. OLC will continue to work with the Governor’s office and the Ohio Department of Health and will monitor the situation. We will notify you immediately if an OLC event is cancelled.

[Update: March 9, 2020] — There are three confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ohio. For more information, check the Ohio Department of Health website.

[Update: March 2, 2020] — Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) held a press conference Thursday (Feb. 27)  urging people to prepare — not panic — for the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio.

Keep Calm and Wash your Hands

Libraries should work with local health districts
The OLC is encouraging libraries to work with their county health departments who have the most up-to-date and trusted information for your local community.

Libraries can help prevent panic
Public libraries can help prevent panic, provide accurate information, and quell rumors and misinformation about the virus. The ODH website has a number of resources available, including a new FAQ fact sheet and infographic that you can share on your library’s social media pages and post in your library.

ODH recommendations
The ODH is recommending the following precautions for public settings:

To keep yourself healthy
ODH advises that people follow the usual recommendations for reducing their risk of infection for other illnesses, such as influenza. These recommendations include:
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick (except to visit a health care professional) and to avoid contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

Additional Resources:

Ohio Department of Health website |
CALL CENTER – to answer questions regarding COVID-19 
is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and can be reached at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). 

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website
Official site for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)