Coronavirus (COVID -19)
Legal Information (for OLC Institutional Member Libraries only)
UPDATE: The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has surpassed the Delta variant as the dominant variant of COVID in Ohio. State health officials continue to urge non-vaccinated individuals to get vaccinated. OLC is encouraging all of its members to take this opportunity to highlight your digital resources, WiFi capabilities, reference services by phone or email, curbside pick up, pick-up lockers, etc.
Ohio’s public libraries have seen a dramatic surge in the number of people requesting rapid, at-home COVID testing kits. However, libraries are not the only place to obtain a test.
COVID-19 testing sites throughout Ohio
Interactive map — search by county or zip code and type of test (pop-up testing site, rapid at-home test, etc.).
Mail order Covid tests
Americans can order one set of 4 at-home tests from the federal government through USPS.com. Orders will ship in late January. USPS will only send one set of 4 tests to valid U.S. residential addresses.
Direct link to order tests: https://special.usps.com/testkits.
Ohio’s public libraries have distributed more than 2.24 million tests
Latest news on testing and information for public libraries distributing tests.
- Get the shot
- Vaccine Update (PDF)
- Vaccine FAQs
- Vaccinating Your Employees: Guidance for Ohio Employers/Organizations
- Guidance for Vaccine Providers Working with Employers
UPDATE 1/12/22: The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is pausing shipments to libraries and local health departments until inventory and the supply chain have stabilized. At this time, the state is prioritizing their supply of tests for schools (K-12 and higher education). ODH anticipates receiving shipments later this month. When more tests become available, ODH will resume sending tests to libraries and local health departments. Requests will be processed in the order in which they were received.
UPDATE 12/30/21: The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has aligned with recently updated federal quarantine and isolation guidance. ODH has released a flow chart based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
UPDATE 10/25/21: Ohio Department of Health Releases Updated School Quarantine Guidance
Mask to Stay/Test to Play quarantine option for school districts and local health departments.
UPDATE 9/14/21: During his briefing, Gov. DeWine shared a number of statistics regarding how the Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading among school-aged children across the state. COVID cases among children have risen nationally by 240 nationwide since early August. However, in Ohio, that increase is 2,000 percent. Gov. DeWine said he would instate a statewide mask mandate for K-12 schools if it weren’t for a state law passed earlier this year that allows state lawmakers to repeal health orders. At this time, 54.4 percent of Ohio’s students are under some form of mask mandate.
UPDATE 8/9/21: New data from the Ohio Department of Health shows vaccination rates have increased across the state as more than half of Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The data shows that 60.9% of Ohioans 18 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 58% of all eligible Ohioans, those 12 and older, are either fully or partially vaccinated.
UPDATE 6/2/21: Most of Ohio’s pandemic health orders – mask mandate, capacity limits and social distancing rules – have expired effective June 2. Some orders will remain related to restrictions at nursing homes and assisted-living facilities and COVID-19 data-gathering. Lifting the health orders will not prevent a business from imposing its own requirements if they wish. Unvaccinated Ohioans must continue to wearing masks. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Update signage is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
UPDATE: 5/17/21: The Ohio Department of Health has amended its remaining health order to conform to the new CDC guidance, which allows those who have been vaccinated to stop wearing masks. Under the CDC’s new guidance, those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance. The full Ohio health order, which still requires steps like social distancing and rules for restaurants and bars, remains in effect until June 2.
UPDATE 5/12/21: Gov. DeWine announced that most health orders in the state of Ohio will be lifted on June 2 (except for some involving nursing homes and assisted living facilities). Starting June 2, the state will no longer require face masks, social distancing, and capacity restrictions for indoor and outdoor events.
UPDATE 4/27/21: Ohioans who have been fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. This health order applies to all adults, except those who are in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or other congregate care settings.
UPDATE 4/8/21: ODH issued an Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating.
- Director’s Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating (PDF)
- Revised Responsible Restart Requirements and Recommendations (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.
- Director’s Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings, and Non-Congregating (PDF)
- Director’s Order Rescinding Various Orders (PDF)
UPDATE 3/29/21: Today all Ohioans ages 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated against coronavirus. You can book an appointment at gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
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 gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
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 2/11/21: ODH has created printable mask requirement signs and other resources to help reinforce COVID-19 prevention messages.
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 coronavirus.ohio.gov. 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.
- Revised Order on Mass Gatherings (PDF)
- Updated Mask Order (PDF)
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.
- Ohio Public Health Advisory System (Map)
On 5/27/21, ODH announced that the color-coded system is no longer needed.
- Health Order for Facial Coverings (PDF)
- Addendum to Facial Covering Order (PDF)
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.
- 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 (PDFs):
|2021 – Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders by Month|
|2020 – Recap of Decisions and Executive Orders by Month|
Ohio Department of Health website | coronavirus.ohio.gov
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.
UPDATE 1/18/22: Americans can now order one set of 4 at-home tests from the federal government through USPS.com. Orders will ship in late January. USPS will only send one set of 4 tests to valid U.S. residential addresses. Direct link to order tests: https://special.usps.com/testkits.
UPDATE 12/27/21: CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for the public. People with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. More information is available on the CDC website.
UPDATE: 7/27/21: CDC has revised its guidance on wearing masks. In a reversal of its earlier position, the agency is now recommending that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread. Updated guidance is available on the CDC website. A data tracker showing each county’s transmission rate is available on the CDC website.
UPDATE: 5/13/21: CDC released new mask-wearing guidance today, saying that fully vaccinated Americans can stop wearing masks in most indoor and outdoor locations. The new advice still asks all people to wear masks when entering public transportation, planes, hospitals, doctors offices and prisons. The CDC’s guidance does not overrule individual state mandates on mask-wearing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website
Official site for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Map of cases in U.S.
- CDC Guidance on daily life activities, including using the library
- 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) — see updated guidance below
UPDATE 4/27/20: CDC Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
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
- EFFECTIVE 2/2/21: Executive order mandates the wearing of masks in all federal buildings, transportation vehicles, stations and airports.
- 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.
- UPDATE 3/16/20: 15 Days to the Stop the Spread (PDF)
OLC Survey Results:
- Ohio Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Crisis
- Ohio Libraries Support Students, Parents, Entire Communities During Pandemic
Ohio’s Coronavirus Pandemic Timeline
Learning Opportunities for Public Library Staff:
Ohio Library Council webinars:
- COVID-19 and Stress: Mental Health Strategies for Your Patrons and Yourself
- Virtual Programming 2.0: Creating High-Quality Video Production for Libraries
- 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
- At-Home COVID Tests for Public Libraries Webinar