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Employee Health and Safety Procedures - Phase Two (Employees Only in the Building)

The health and safety of PCPL’s employees is a top priority. PCPL will phase in library services to ensure adherence to all federal, state, and local health recommendations. To protect the health of the individual employees and the public, the following mitigation strategies have been designed. Community mitigation activities are actions that people and communities can take to slow the spread of infectious diseases. Community mitigation is especially important before a vaccine or drug becomes widely available.

It is expected that all employees will adhere to these safety measures. Failure to support the health and safety goals listed below can be considered insubordination and may lead to disciplinary action. This document may be updated and modified as new situations or information becomes available. Employees will be notified of the modifications.


Maintaining Social Distancing Recommendations

PCPL requires social distancing of at least six feet between employees except when situations arise such as passing co-workers in a hallway or traveling past a co-workers work space.

PCPL may make changes in services, hours, and schedules to ensure employees can adhere to social distancing recommendations.

Staff schedules will be staggered in order to minimize the number of employees in the building and to support teams not interacting.

Staff non-public service areas with fixed workstations will adjust all work areas to adhere to at least a six-foot distance.

Staff will not be in the building when their team is not scheduled, unless the director gives an exception for a valid reason.

Staff who are not scheduled at the library for their weekly hours will be expected to work remotely as directed to support library operations.

Teams will have little to no contact with other teams.

Staff will communicate virtually whenever possible.

When a transfer of material is needed it will be done internally in a manner similar to our patron curbside service.

Employees will work six feet away from their co-workers.

Employees in small offices or close cubicles will have access to an alternate place in the building to work.

Employees should stagger entrances and exits into the building by arriving/leaving a few minutes early/on time/late to assist with physical distancing.

Committee meetings will continue to be virtual meetings.

CDC recommends decreasing social contacts in the workplace, such as in-person meetings and group lunches.

Any employee using the break room or lunch room must continue to keep the six foot physical distance requirement.

Employees should use phones and email to ask each other routine questions or obtain service versus walking to visit offices in person or leaving handwritten notes.

IT or Maintenance may be required to enter the building for repairs. Please be considerate and remain physically distant. IT staff will wash their hands prior to and after repairs.

Limited service models will be enacted to protect social distancing measures between staff and patrons.

Patrons will be required to stay in their car during curbside service.

Any patron services added during this phase will have minimal staff-patron interactions and will require physical distancing ability.

Employees will file incident reports regarding any patrons that attempt repeatedly to violate the six foot distancing requirements.  Library employees have the right to a safe and respectful workplace environment.


      Implementing Basic Infection Prevention Measures

Employees will disinfect their areas and high-touch areas at the beginning and end of each shift using bleach wipes or paper towels and PCPL provided disinfecting solution.

Employees will frequently and thoroughly wash and sanitize hands using CDC guidelines.

Employees will wash hands prior and after specific activities to prevent cross contamination.  Activities include such things as:

Changing between work activities

Moving materials between co-workers such as book carts

Entering the buildings and before beginning work

Book drop

Employees will actively refrain from touching their face – mouth, nose, and eyes – while at work.

Employees will practice respiratory etiquette.

Employees will respect personal working spaces and not use co-worker's desk, phone, or workspace.

Keyboard covers will be used at all computers and sanitized at the end of the employee shift.

Employees should keep their own writing utensils and not share or borrow from others.

Employees will contribute to basic housekeeping practices include routine cleaning and disinfecting of shared surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the workspace.

High touch surfaces include:

door handles and locks, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, refrigerator handles.

A sanitizing schedule will be maintained in projects to ensure that these areas are sanitized at least twice per day.

If possible, during this phase, leave internal doors open to decrease the need to touch   doorknobs and handles.

Handwashing signs will be posted in all restrooms that shows proper handwashing procedures.

Only one person may use the elevator at a time.


Utilizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All employees will be provided with two cloth face coverings.  More will be provided as needed, and one is to remain in the library at all times.

Cloth facial coverings are required while working inside PCPL buildings to help protect others.

Social distancing is still required.

Employees will review the provided poster How to Use a Face Mask.

Employees will read and follow the provided CDC guidelines on how to properly use and sanitize their cloth mask.

Gloves are available for employees, and should be used when handling book-drop returns. They are to be removed safely and discarded immediately after the items are delivered to the quarantine area.

Upon removal of any PPE, employees must wash hands thoroughly before touching anything else.

Employees are encouraged to rely on frequent and thorough handwashing if gloves are not available.

Gloves must always be available in Spill Kits. We must comply with OSHA Standard Compliance (1910.1030) and combine personal protection and clean-up items mandated by OSHA, CDC, and State Health Departments to aid in the clean-up, transportation, and disposal of potentially infectious blood or body fluid spills.


Monitoring Individual Health and Wellness

All employees will monitor how they feel and be aware of potential symptoms of COVID-19.

We require temperatures to be taken prior to beginning work.

If an employee does not feel well, exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms, or has a temperature above 100.4 (or feels feverish), the employee must stay home.

If someone in an employee’s home is being tested for COVID-19, they are expected to work remotely until test results are available.

If you’re feeling ill, follow the CDC’s recommendations on what to do if you’re exhibiting symptoms


Handling Library Materials

Handling materials is one of the most complex areas of operations during a pandemic due to the potential of virus transmission on shared objects such as books and DVDs. Current studies suggest the virus remains present on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours and on cardboard and paper surfaces for up to 24 hours.

Employees will remove items from book drops and leave in current status.

Designated carts/dumbwaiters will be used for emptying book drops and will not be used for other activities.

Carts/dumbwaiters emptied from the book drop will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Interlibrary Loan deliveries will also be quarantined for 72 hours.  Delivery bags will not be opened until the quarantine period has elapsed.

Items will remain in a quarantine area that is away from staff work or travel patterns.

After 72 hours a different cart (clean cart) will be used to transfer items to the shelves.

Items checked in are available for shelving or holds.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

A combination of cleaning and disinfection will be most effective in removing the COVID-19 virus. Cleaning reduces the soil load on the surface, allowing the disinfectant to work and kill the COVID-19 virus. Disinfectant may not kill the virus if the surface has not been cleaned with a detergent first.

Disinfecting will take place at the end of each shift before a team leaves the building.


Disinfecting procedures

When disinfecting a surface, by far the most important consideration is what’s known as dwell time: the amount of time the disinfectant needs to remain on a surface to kill pathogens, and in this case, specifically the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. No disinfectant works instantly. Different dwell times don’t indicate that one disinfectant is more or less effective than another. They’re just how long products take to eliminate the coronavirus, the result you want.  The disinfectant dwell time available at PCPL is 10 minutes.

Complete disinfecting protocol includes four steps: Pre-cleaning, disinfecting (dwell time), wiping clean and rinsing with water.

Wear gloves when cleaning. Gloves should be discarded after each clean.


Cleaning products and usage

Provided disinfectant also is a light cleaner so it is multi-purpose.  It provides for pre-cleaning and disinfecting.

Glass and multi-surface cleaner which is not a disinfectant (typically used this for wiping windows and other non- restroom/non-high touch surfaces). 

Heavy duty restroom cleaner which is a disinfectant as well (typically used  for cleaning restroom surfaces).


      Infection Disease Outbreak Plan

Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees and sent home. The current team supervisor will notify the Director immediately and PCPL will follow all CDC Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure.

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.

The building is supplied with a no-touch thermometer to monitor temperatures.  This is also used to determine if an employee has a fever over 100.4. 

If a sick employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 we follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations and notify the Library Director.

Employees will inform the Library Director if they have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.


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