COVID-19: Health & Safety Information

All Yakima Valley Libraries buildings are open at full capacity for limited in-person library services.

Effective August 23, 2021, per statewide mandate, an approved mask or face covering is required within all YVL locations, regardless of vaccination status.

For more information about the latest mask/face covering mandate, see the August 23, 2021, ‘Message from the Executive Director’ in the COVID-19 Messages & Updates menu below.


COMMUNITY LIBRARIES

    • Contact-Free Holds Pick Up is available at your community library. No appointment necessary!
    • As of July 6, 2021, per updated guidelines for libraries from the Governor’s Office, all libraries are open at full capacity for limited in-person services.
    • Book returns at all 17 library locations are open to accept returned materials
    • As of August 23, 2021, per statewide mandate, an an approved mask or face covering is required within all YVL locations


CONTACTING US

What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. 


What can I do to protect myself and/or my family?

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the CDC there are many steps we can all take to protect ourselves and others, such as:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Putting distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
  • Staying home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.

Where can I find more information?

For the most accurate and reliable information, please visit any of the following websites:


For more specific information about symptoms and preparedness planning:

  • Click here to learn about COVID-19 symptoms
  • Click here to learn about COVID-19 and older adults and/or those with medical conditions
  • Click here for info & tips about how to prepare your family if COVID-19 is actively spreading in your community
  • Click here for tips about managing COVID-19 related anxiety or stress

HEALTH & SAFETY PLAN

Effective March 13, 2020

In light of the current, and rapidly evolving coronavirus outbreak, Yakima Valley Libraries has established a Health & Safety Plan in order to address, mitigate, and respond to this and similar situations.

The Health & Safety Plan is made up of four response Phases, all of which are meant to serve as guidelines for how Yakima Valley Libraries will address potential or active public health and/or safety concerns.

CURRENT STAGE: FIVE – YVL Reopening Plan (as of 8/10/20)


Stage One – Preparation & Education

In the event of relevant public health or safety issues affecting the YVL service area, the Library Executive Director will:

  • Provide print and online informational resources for staff and the public
  • Monitor notices and announcements from local/regional health departments, public safety departments, and government officials
  • Encourage staff and patrons to follow safety, health, and hygiene recommendations from local and federal health agencies

Stage Two – Mitigation

In the event of a potential or emerging health crisis within the YVL service area, Library Executive Director will follow recommendations from local/regional health departments and/or government officials, in order to make determinations regarding:

  • Limiting or suspending library services
  • Limiting or suspending library programs/activities (i.e., storytimes, book discussions, author visits, etc)
  • Passive social distancing (i.e. reduce seating available to public, including public computers)
  • Increased sanitization and/or temporary storage of high-touch items such as children’s toys and games, ELS stations, public-use headphones, craft supplies, etc
  • Increased or augmented standards and frequency for the cleaning of bathrooms, railings and door knobs, telephones, keyboards, counters
  • A communications plan for staff and the public

In the absence of official recommendations with direct through-lines to library services, Library administration will independently make determinations, on an as-needed basis.

Stage Three – Active Response

In the event of an active health or safety crisis within the YVL service area, Library Executive Director will follow recommendations from local/regional health departments and/or government officials, in order to make decisions regarding:

  • Active social distancing, which includes limiting prolonged building access by the public (i.e., removal of chairs/seating; suspending all computer access)
  • Provision of masks and/or gloves, along with staff training in their removal and disposal
  • Training and standards for cleaning of workstations/offices of employees who go home sick
  • A communications plan staff and the public

In the absence of official recommendations with direct through-lines to library services, Library administration will independently make determinations, on an as-needed basis.

Stage Four – Critical Response

In the event of a critical health crisis within the YVL service area, Library Executive Director will follow recommendations from local/regional health departments and/or government officials, in order to make decisions regarding:

  • Criteria for closing buildings
  • Setting a facility maintenance schedule if buildings are closed for an extended time (i.e., building checks, book drop, payroll, etc)
  • Employee policies for extended sick leave due to possible quarantine; planning for payroll and banking/financial issues
  • Means for continuing to provide information services for the public, such as online ordering of materials and pick up from a table in the lobby at certain times, or expansion of online services
  • A communications plan for reaching staff and for communicating with the public

Stage Five – YVL Reopening Plan

In the event of a reduced health crisis within the YVL service area, Library Executive Director will follow recommendations from local/regional health departments and/or government officials to make decisions on:

    • Implementation of the Safety Plan
    • Staff returning to work
    • Opening library buildings to the public
    • Services to be offered
  • Libraries services: Perform duties and tasks as assigned by management according to Library services associated with Stage 5 steps (1-6).
    1. Internal work in buildings – Additional staff in the building: in preparation of next steps
    2. Additional public services with contact-free holds pick up service for currently held items
    3. New holds – contact-free holds pick up service continues with new holds
    4. Reopen designated library buildings with modified hours, contact-free holds pick up for small libraries
    5. Reopen all libraries with social distancing standards
    6. All Library buildings/services open

In the absence of official recommendations with direct through-lines to library services, Library Executive Director will independently make determinations, on an as-needed basis.

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