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).
Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) – Public Library Assistance Program:
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.
Best Practices in light of COVID-19:
PPE for Libraries (OLC’s Group Purchasing Program)
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.
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.
- Ohio Public Health Advisory System (Map)
- Health Order for Facial Coverings (PDF)
- Addendum to Facial Covering Order (PDF)
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.
- ODH Ohioans Protecting Ohioans Urgent Health Advisory (PDF, 3 pages)
- ODH Stay Safe Partial Rescission (PDF)
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.
- Stay Safe Ohio Order (PDF, 14 pages)
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.
UPDATE 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.
- Amended Stay-At-Home Order (PDF, 13 pages)
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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief Bill
- Open Meetings Act Law changes (PDF) | Answers to Frequently-Asked Questions (PDF)
- OLC Statement of Support (PDF)
Decisions and Executive Orders
Gov. Mike DeWine has provided the following updates on Ohio’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – March 2-15, 2020 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – March 15-22, 2020 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders March 22-29, 2020 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders March 30-April 4, 2020 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – April 6-11 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – April 13-17 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – April 18-24 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – April 25-May 1 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – May 2-8 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders – May 11-15 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders May 18-22 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders May 31 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders June 6 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders June 13 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders June 21 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders June 26 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders July 2 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders July 11 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders July 17 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders July 24 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders July 31 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Aug. 9 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Aug. 14 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Aug.21 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Aug. 30 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Sept. 5 (PDF)
- Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders Sept. 12 (PDF)
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]
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 3/19/20: OLC Board Recommends Libraries Close Temporarily
- Map of cases in U.S.
- CDC Guidance on daily life activities, including using the library (Posted 6/15/20)
- CDC Guidance on events and gatherings
- CDC Guidance on running errands
- CDC Communications Resources for Coronavirus
Information and materials to share with your patrons
- CDC Guidance (PDF)
Information for keeping workplaces, homes, schools, etc. safe
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 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)
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 4/13/20: 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.
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)
Ohio Library Council webinars:
- Virtual Storytime: Successes and Challenges
- Creativity in Quarantine: Innovative Library Ideas During the Pandemic
- Library on the Go: Delivering Curbside, Drive-Through, and Lobby Service Safely and Efficiently
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:
- Strategies for Advancing Digital Equity Now (presented on 4/23/2020)
- National Survey Results (presented on 4/22/2020)
- Innovative Solutions in Times of Crisis (presented on 4/16/2020)
- Managing Stress and Anxiety (presented on 4/9/2020)
- Successful Ways to Work Remotely (presented on 4/2/20)
- The Current Landscape (presented on 3/26/20)
American Library Association (ALA)
- Using 3D printer to make PPEs (American Libraries Magazine, 4/3/20)
- How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic (American Libraries Magazine, 3/27/20)
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
- Institute of Museum and Library Services Resources for Libraries Webinar with the CDC: Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections (presented on 3/20/20)
International Association of Exhibitions and Events
- Essential Considerations for Safely Reopening Exhibitions and Events, Version One
White paper describes processes and protocols for large venues to maintain high health and safety standards as they reopen. Covers everything from general health and safety measures to cleaning procedures. This may serve as a foundation later when large group gatherings are again allowed.