Coronavirus (COVID -19)

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

News and Updates | State LevelFederal Level

Best Practices for Libraries Learning Opportunities

Legal Information (for OLC Institutional Member Libraries only)

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). 

Best Practices in light of COVID-19:

OLC is encouraging all of its members to take this opportunity to highlight your digital resources, WiFi capabilities, reference services by phone or email, etc. A number of these resources are highlighted on the OLC website.

It’s been a year! Ohio’s Coronavirus Pandemic Timeline

COVID-19 Vaccination:

OLC Survey Results:

Battelle Research Update:

  • Round 1 test results show virus undetectable on common library materials after three days.
  • Round 2 test results indicate that a longer quarantine time for certain types of paper materials, such as magazines and Children’s board books, may be required.
  • Round 3 test results show that a slightly longer quarantine time for plastic-based materials may be required.
  • Round 4 test results show that stacking items keeps the virus alive on materials longer than if they are unstacked.
  • Round 5 test results show after eight days of quarantine, the virus was still detected on leather and synthetic leather materials.
  • Round 6 test results show after two days, the virus was not detectable on the brass and marble. After six days, the virus was not detected on the glass, laminate, and powder-coated steel.
  • Round 7 and 8 test results compare the effect of colder and warmer temperatures on the attenuation rate of the virus on materials previously tested at ambient room temperatures.

At this time, the OLC is recommending that returned materials be quarantined for 48-72 hours. Please see Best Practices Guide and Roadmap for Reopening Ohio’s Public Libraries for more information.

State Level: 


UPDATE 4/9/21: ODH has issued an Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating to clarify that:

  • Six feet of separation between tables at restaurants, drinking establishments and banquet facilities must be maintained unless there is a physical barrier between them.
  • Other than the facial covering requirements, the social distancing, congregating, and capacity requirements of the order do not apply to religious observances and First Amendment activity, including activity by the media, as has been the case since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • The K-12 mask requirement mandate remains in effect and unchanged.

Director’s Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating (PDF)

UPDATE 4/5/21:  Gov. DeWine announced that the state of Ohio is issuing a new, streamlined health order that encompasses its guidance on mass gatherings and other COVID-19 restrictions.

UPDATE 3/29/21: Today all Ohioans ages 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against coronavirus. You can book an appointment at

UPDATE 3/16/21: Effective Monday, March 29, all Ohioans age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a vaccination for COVID-19. Ohioans age 40 and over as well as those with cancer, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, COPD or are obese will be eligible starting Friday, March 19. Eligible Ohioans can book an appointment at

UPDATE 3/5/21: Governor DeWine announced that when Ohio reaches 50 cases per 100,000 people for two weeks, all health orders will be lifted.

UPDATE 2/11/21: The statewide curfew was lifted after COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio fell below 2,500 for the tenth straight day. Gov. Mike DeWine announced the curfew officially expired at noon.

UPDATE 1/27/21: The Ohio Department of Health has pushed back the statewide curfew one hour, changing the start time of the curfew to 11 p.m. The new hours effective Jan. 28-Feb. 11, 2021.

UPDATE 1/26/21: Gov. DeWine announced a new plan for Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that is contingent on the hospital utilization statewide.

UPDATE 1/22/21: Gov. DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will extend Ohio’s 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew until January 30, 2021.

UPDATE 1/15/21: Because the availability of the vaccine remains limited, Ohio is taking a phased approach that prioritizes the most vulnerable citizens, those in the healthcare field, and school staff members.

UPDATE 12/30/20: The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has extended the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until Jan. 23, 2021.

UPDATE 12/16/20: Ohio has launched a new COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard at The dashboard lists the number of people vaccinated in Ohio and can be sorted by demographic and by county.

UPDATE 12/10/20: The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has extended the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until Jan. 2, 2021. The curfew does not apply to those going to and from work, those who have an emergency, or those who need medical care.

UPDATE 12/4/20: Gov. DeWine announced details for Ohio’s first phase of vaccine distribution (expected to begin on or around Dec. 15). Also, the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new quarantine guidance for those who may have been exposed to coronavirus, but are not showing symptoms. CDC’s new guidance has two options depending on the situation:

  • 10-day quarantine that does not require testing, provided there are no symptoms.
  • 7-day quarantine if test results are negative, provided there are no symptoms.

UPDATE 11/17/20: Gov. DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will be issuing a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew beginning on Thurs., Nov. 19. The curfew will be in effect for 21 days.

UPDATE 11/16/20: The rise in new coronavirus cases has prompted Gov. DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to revise its order on mass gatherings and issue an updated order to enforce mask-wearing in retail locations across the state.

UPDATE 11/06/20: Gov. DeWine announced that Ohio is once again breaking records in regard to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. New fact sheets have been created for different industries in Ohio. These documents include helpful talking points, sample social media posts, updated COVID data, etc.

UPDATE 10/23/20: Gov. DeWine is once again urging Ohioans to get their flu shots this year. A person can become infected with both the flu virus and coronavirus at the same time. While the symptoms can be similar, COVID-19 is more serious.

UPDATE 7/29/20:  Gov. Mike DeWine released an updated travel advisory. Those entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. Ohio’s Travel Advisory will be updated every Wednesday.

UPDATE 7/22/20:  Effective July 23 at 6 p.m., ALL counties in Ohio will be required to wear facial coverings while out in public.

UPDATE: 7/7/20: Effective July 8, at 6 p.m., a new Ohio Department of Health (ODH) order will mandate face coverings in public in all counties that are designated as a Red Alert Level 3 Public Health Emergency or a Purple Alert Level 4 Public Health Emergency.

UPDATE: 7/2/20: Gov. DeWine announced a public health alert system aimed at assessing the coronavirus spread in each county of the state. Details are available on the OLC website.

UPDATE: 6/11/20: Gov. DeWine announced that Dr. Amy Acton will step down as director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and begin serving as his chief health advisor effective at the end of business June 11. Lance Himes, who previously served as ODH’s director, was named interim-director.

UPDATE: 6/5/20: Gov. DeWine provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and announced new opening dates established as part of the Responsible RestartOhio plan. Entertainment venues, including movie theaters, museums and public recreation centers, may open June 10 if they are able to follow the Retail, Consumer, Service & Entertainment Guidelines and other applicable additional guidance. Casinos and amusement parks are permitted to reopen on June 19 if they are able to follow certain guidelines.

UPDATE 5/29/20: Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Amy Acton signed an order continuing the ban on most mass gatherings through July 1. The order extends one of the last major coronavirus restrictions still in place: a ban on gatherings of 10 or more people outside of a single household. The ban contains numerous exceptions, including religious services, free-speech demonstrations, funerals, and weddings (as well as wedding receptions of up to 300 people starting June 1).

UPDATE 5/20/20: The new “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory” replaces the Stay Safe Ohio Order that was issued by ODH on April 30, 2020. The health order replaces language requiring Ohioans to stay at home with limited exceptions with language that strongly recommends that citizens, especially those who are high-risk, stay at home as much as possible. The order does not change the mass gathering restrictions, which remain at a 10-person limit. The new health advisory also lifts overall travel restrictions and the requirement to quarantine if someone travels to or returns to Ohio. Unnecessary travel within or outside of Ohio is not encouraged.

UPDATE 5/14/20: Gov. DeWine announced more plans for reopening Ohio, including day care centers, gyms, campgrounds, and public pools.

UPDATE 5/1/20: Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) officially issued the Stay Safe Ohio order, which replaces the previous stay-at-home order and includes details on scheduled reopening of businesses. It goes into effect at 12 a.m. Sat., May 2.

UPDATE 4/27/20: Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled plans for Ohio’s partial reopening. The state’s Responsible RestartOhio plan aims to get people back to work as well as protect the health of employees and customers. A summary of the plan and protocols are available on the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) website.

UPDATE 4/20/20: Gov. DeWine announced that Ohio’s K-12 schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year.

Ohio recovery graphicUPDATE 4/16/20: Gov. DeWine and Dr. Acton announced that beginning May 1st, the state will begin a phased-in reopening of the economy. As Ohio begins to reopen, Gov. DeWine stressed the need to balance:

  • Compliance with public health measures;
  • Implementation of safeguards in business; and
  • Protections for the most vulnerable Ohioans.

UPDATE 4/02/20: Gov. DeWine has extended the stay-at-home order until May 1. Based on the Intent of the Order expressed in #16 and the Information for Employers in #19, OLC is continuing to encourage public libraries to keep their facilities closed to the public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

UPDATE 3/27/20: Emergency Legislation
Summary of emergency legislation (House Bill 197) passed unanimously by the Ohio Legislature and signed by Gov. DeWine on March 27, 2020.

Decisions and Executive Orders
Gov. Mike DeWine has provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (PDFs):

2021 – Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders by Month

Jan. 8

Jan. 15

Jan. 22

Jan. 30

Feb. 5

Feb. 15

Feb. 20

Feb. 26

March 5

March 12

March 19

March 27

April 2

April 9

2020 – Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders by Month

March 2-15, 2020

March 15-22, 2020

March 22-29, 2020

March 30-April 4, 2020

Aug. 9

Aug. 14


Aug. 30

April 6-11

April 13-17

April 18-24

April 25-May 1

Sept. 5

Sept. 12

Sept. 18

Sept. 25

May 2-8

May 11-15

May 18-22

May 31

Oct. 2

Oct. 9

Oct. 16

Oct. 23

June 6

June 13

June 21

June 26

Nov. 1

Nov. 6

Nov. 13

Nov. 20

Nov. 27

July 2

July 11

July 17

July 24

July 31

Dec. 4
Vaccination Distribution PlanDec. 11Dec. 18Dec. 23Dec. 31

Ohio Department of Health website
Translated resources can be accessed through the “Language Translation” tab at the top, left of the webpage.

ODH Coronavirus Hotline: 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
[Callers can press option 2 and leave their contact information and a bilingual member will call them back]

Multilingual COVID-19 precautions/resource sign (PDF)

Ohio’s COVID-19 Dashboard
Number of cases by county of residence.

Ohio Public Health Advisory System
Provides Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live.

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 that you can share on your library’s website and social media pages.

Libraries Should Work with Local Health Districts
The OLC is encouraging libraries to continue to work with their county health departments who have the most up-to-date information for your local community.

UPDATE 7/22/20: OLC Updates Best Practices guide.

UPDATE 5/2/20: OLC Issues Roadmap and Best Practices for Reopening Ohio’s Public Libraries

UPDATE 3/19/20:  OLC Board Recommends Libraries Close Temporarily

Federal Level:

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

UPDATE 4/2/21: CDC Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

UPDATE 2/11/21: The CDC has updated its guidance for wearing masks.

UPDATE 4/3/20: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations.
White House, CDC and FEMA website

  • UPDATE 12/11/20: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved safe, effective Coronavirus vaccines for emergency use authorization in the United States.
  • UPDATE 4/16/20: Guidelines for reopening the U.S. economy
    This will take place in three graduated stages and implements on a statewide or county-by-county basis at the Governors’ discretion. Phase one will see some workers head back, while phase two has schools and restaurants reopening and phase three sees the opening of bigger venues.
  • White House has extended the Coronavirus Guidelines for America through April 30.
    Download Coronavirus Guidelines
  • UPDATE 3/16/20: 15 Days to the Stop the Spread (PDF)
  • EFFECTIVE 2/2/21: Executive order mandates the wearing of masks in all federal buildings, transportation vehicles, stations and airports.

ODH Recommendations

UPDATE 2/11/21: ODH has created printable mask requirement signs and other resources to help reinforce COVID-19 prevention messages.

UPDATE 5/22/20: ODH has created COVID-19 signage and health screening questions for use with customers. The posters and signs are available for download. Responsbile RestartOhio posters and signs

UPDATE 4/27/20: ODH lists responsible protocols for reopening business. See also OLC outline/roadmap for reopening.

UPDATE 4/13/20: ODH Checklist for Safe Food Handling for retail food stores, restaurants, and pick-up and delivery services. This may be helpful as libraries start to plan for reopening and what that may look like.

UPDATE 3/23/20: All of Ohio’s public libraries are now closed to the public. The OLC has put together a list of what is still available to Ohio library cardholders 24/7.

UPDATE 3/19/20: Libraries should consider CLOSING temporarily

  • Increasing space between desk chairs and computers to at least 6 feet – in both public and private areas of the library.
  • Removing children’s toys temporarily.
  • Reviewing policies on returning books and waiving fines (if you still have fines in place).
  • Make sure you have enough cleaning supplies (disinfectant sprays and wipes) on hand, paper products, hand sanitizer.
  • Review your library’s cleaning schedules and procedures.
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.

Ohioans are encouraged to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation to wear cloth face coverings (masks) in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Employers are encouraged to allow their employees to wear masks as well.  

  • Effective, July 23 at 6 p.m. – residents of ALL counties in Ohio are required to wear a face mask while out in public.
  • ODH Checklist for Face Covering (PDF)

Learning Opportunities for Public Library Staff:

Ohio Library Council webinars:

REALM Project
Earlier this year, IMLS, together with Ohio-based OCLC, Inc. and Battelle, announced a new collaboration to support libraries and museums as they consider safe reopening practices in light of COVID-19. A research project is underway at Battelle to determine the longevity of the virus on books, magazines, newspapers, tapes and other library materials. The goal is to devise best practices for how to handle materials and engage with the public under this new COVID-19 reality.

Public Library Association (PLA)
The Public Library Association’s free webinar series, Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19, is now available on-demand. Library leaders from across the country have shared how their libraries are handling this crisis, supporting staff and community needs during this time, and planning for the future. The following recordings are now available:

American Library Association (ALA)

American Library Association (ALA) COVID-19 Resources for Libraries

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

International Association of Exhibitions and Events