Covid-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan
The Charlotte Community Library takes the health and safety of employees, patrons, and the community very seriously, and will remain vigilant in efforts to mitigate workplace exposure to the Covid-19 virus. This plan was developed in accordance with Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-59, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for Covid-19 (OSHA 3390-03-2020) and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
It is also acknowledged that the Covid-19 Pandemic is an evolving situation as more is learned about the virus. As a result, these guidelines are subject to change and modification pursuant to legal requirements. Modifications and amendments to this plan are solely at the discretion of the director. The provisions of this Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan shall apply to all employees and any person entering or providing services to library facilities. The Plan will remain in effect until rescinded by the Library Director.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) is a respiratory disease caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus. It is considered highly contagious. To mitigate the impact of Covid-19, provisions have been put in place to reduce exposure to employees and patrons. It is important to understand how Covid-19 spreads. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person including:
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six (6) feet);
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes;
- It may also be possible to contract Covid-19 by touching a surface or object that has Covid-19 on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Responsibilities of Employees: It is a condition of employment for all employees to comply with the requirements of the Library’s Covid-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan. As set out in this plan, the Library has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, requirements for personal protection equipment, and other best practices to reduce exposure to Covid-19. Employees are required to comply with the following provisions:
- Remain home if sick and notify the Staff Coordinator accordingly. Employees exhibiting signs of illness will be sent home.
- Report to the Library Director or Staff Coordinator if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms of Covid-19 or if a member of their household has been diagnosed with Covid-19. Signs and symptoms of Covid-19 include coughing, fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, loss of sense of smell or taste, and profound fatigue.
- Employees must practice good hygiene which includes frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water is not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette which includes covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Whenever possible and unless required by your job, avoid close contact with people that are sick.
- Follow the social distancing and personal protection equipment guidelines contained in this plan.
- Regularly clean and maintain personal protective equipment provided to employees by the Library.
- Regularly clean and sanitize work areas, tools, and equipment as provided for in this plan.
Workplace Protective Measures: The following measures shall be implemented at all worksites and adhered to by all employees.
- Any employee showing symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to leave the workplace and will not be allowed to return until symptom free for a minimum of three consecutive days or until the employee can document that they are experiencing a non-contagious medical condition.
- If needed, the Library may implement a Covid-19 screening process which may include questions about any symptoms employees are experiencing and potential contact with any persons diagnosed with Covid-19.
- Employees must avoid physical contact with others and shall direct others, including co-workers, patrons, and contractors, to maintain social distancing standards where possible.
- Employees shall stagger breaks and lunches whenever possible to reduce the size of any group at any one time to less than two (2) people in break rooms. Social distancing shall be observed during lunches and breaks.
- To the extent possible, sharing of tools and equipment shall be prohibited. If sharing is necessary, the tools and equipment should be cleaned with alcohol based/antibacterial cleaner before and after each use.
- Employees shall be required to wear face masks in public spaces when the Library is open to the public and in areas where social distancing is not possible. For purposes of this policy, public spaces shall mean any area in which the public has frequent access or any space in which social distancing cannot be achieved. Social distancing shall be defined as maintaining a distance of at least six (6) feet between parties. The Director’s office and work areas are not considered public spaces unless other individuals enter the office and social distancing cannot be achieved
Employee Illness or Exposure to Covid-19:
- Illness: Employees that are ill are required to stay home and seek appropriate medical attention. Said employees must notify the Director or Staff Coordinator as soon as possible of the illness via phone, text message or e-mail. Employees reporting to work ill shall be sent home. During the pandemic event, full-time and regular part-time employees that become ill with Covid-19 will be compensated for their regular wages/shifts for the first fourteen calendar days. If their illness extends beyond the initial fourteen calendar days, the employee shall use accumulated paid leave time and if available, applicable short-term disability benefits. Once all leave time benefits are exhausted, the employee may take unpaid leave. Before returning to work, employees with Covid-19 must be symptom free for at least three (3) consecutive days or be cleared to return to work by their physician.
- Notification of Exposure: The Library will notify employees of any known exposure to Covid-19. Employees are required to comply with any quarantine recommendations after being exposed to the pandemic event.
- Exposure & Quarantine: The Library will compensate full-time and regular part-time employees for their regular wages/shifts for the first fourteen calendar days after the employee has been exposed to an infected or quarantined individual and is advised by their medical provider to stay home and self-quarantine. If the quarantine extends beyond fourteen calendar days, the employee may use any accumulated paid leave time to continue their regular compensation during the quarantine event. Before returning to work after a quarantine, employees may be required to obtain clearance to return.
Social Distancing: Social distance shall be observed until otherwise determined by the County, State, or Federal government. Social distancing requires that each employee:
- maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet from other people;
- do not gather in groups;
- stay in assigned work area and within individual workspaces as much as possible except when entering/leaving the building, using restrooms, kitchens and break rooms, or to complete a job task;
- No attending or hosting of in-person meetings.
Employees Required to Enter Non-Library Facilities: Employees required to enter into buildings and/or homes as part of their regular work day should evaluate specific hazards and exposures and determine if it is safe to proceed. Employees shall use their discretion and can refuse to enter the premises if they have concerns on the condition of either the premises or the occupants. Employees entering said premises may ask the occupants about their potential exposure to Covid-19 and require that social distancing requirements be observed. If possible, the employee should ask the occupant to exit the premises in order to complete the work or complete a risk assessment of the condition of the premises and the occupants. Employees entering premises shall be required to wear the appropriate face masks, gloves, and other PPE as required by their position
Personal Protective Equipment & Work Practice Controls: To mitigate the exposure risk to Covid-19, the Library will provide the following personal protective equipment.
- Gloves: The type of glove to be worn will be determined by the nature of the tasks to be performed. If gloves are not typically required for a task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex or vinyl gloves. Employees should not share gloves.
- Face Masks:. Employees will be provided with reusable washable face masks. Employees shall be required to wear face masks in public spaces and in areas where social distancing is not possible. For purposes of this policy, public spaces shall mean any area in which the public has frequent access or any space in which social distancing cannot be achieved. Social distancing shall be defined as maintaining a distance of at least six (6) feet between parties. Private offices and work areas are not considered public spaces unless other individuals enter the office and social distancing cannot be achieved.
Workplace Modifications: All work sites must be evaluated to determine risk exposure and modifications that should be implemented to mitigate this risk. These modifications may include:
- installation of barriers/sneeze guards at Circulation Desk
- removal of furniture from all areas of the library
- Installation of signage to direct the public on social distancing requirements, hand sanitizing stations, etc.
- Restructuring of work areas, work shifts, and/or work tasks to ensure social distancing measures are possible.
Workplace Cleaning & Disinfecting: All Library facilities, including common areas, will be properly cleaned and sanitized prior to reintroducing staff to the facility. All offices will be provided with cleaning and sanitizing products to use to fulfill employee responsibilities as described below.
All common areas will be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis utilizing products identified by OSHA & the CDC as effective for eliminating Covid-19. Common areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- doorknobs, push bars, handles, and panels
- light switches
- drinking fountains
- employee break rooms/kitchens to include microwaves, refrigerators, beverage machines, tables & chairs;
- Plexiglas barriers/sneeze guards
- Shared office equipment such as copiers, hand scanners and phones
Employee Cleaning & Sanitizing Responsibilities: Employees shall be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing their personal work areas as per the following:
- Clean personal work spaces on a regular basis. Specifically, the following surface areas should be cleaned at least daily and more frequently if shared:
- computer keyboard & mouse
- desk surface and drawers
- Avoid using other employee’s supplies, equipment, phones, etc. If it is necessary to share equipment, clean before and after each use.
- When using copy machine, wipe down before and after each use.
- If eating in break room, wipe down all surfaces used (chair, table, countertop, microwave buttons, fridge handle, etc.). Do not provide communal food and beverages and refrain from sharing serving utensils.
Cleaning and Disinfecting if someone is Symptomatic: If an employee has developed symptoms of Covid-19, the areas used by the employee must be cleaned and disinfected prior to being used again. Access to the area(s) should be closed off until the disinfecting has been completed. Clean and disinfect all areas used by the symptomatic person including restrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment, etc.
Reintroduction of Employees and the Public into the Library:
The Library Director shall determine when employees return to the Library and when Library facilities are reopened to the public. It is anticipated that the return to work and public access to Library facilities will be achieved in stages based on State and Federal mandates and the ability to achieve social distancing requirements.
Prior to employees returning to work, any necessary measures to reduce risk exposure shall be implemented. Prior to commencing work, employees returning to work, shall clean and sanitize all work areas and equipment. Employees will be advised of mandatory social distancing practices, use of personal protection equipment, and other measures implemented to reduce risk exposure. These measures may include staggered shifts, staggered breaks and lunches, continuation of remote work arrangements, and other strategies to limit the number of employees working together.
Before allowing access to the public, the Library shall implement the following measures:
- Post signage with social distancing requirements and directions including the request to wear masks.
- Provide social distancing markings at counters and service areas.
- Installation of barriers at counters and service areas.
Once the Library is reopened to the public, face masks will be requested to enter as long as social distancing measures are required. In addition, at the Library Director’s discretion, the following measures may also be required:
- Screening of visitors through observation of Covid-19 symptoms. All concerns regarding symptomatic visitors or unsafe behavior shall be reported to the Library Director.
- Limiting/regulating the number of patrons permitted to enter. The number of individuals permitted to enter could change periodically based upon the incidents of Covid-19 in the community and on changes in recommended practices.
This Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan will be provided to all employees via e-mail prior to returning to work and will be available on Char-nt 3 in the Library folder. Any questions regarding any provisions of the plan should be directed to the Library Director or the Staff Coordinator.