Covid Safety Details

Thanks for visiting our Covid Safety Details page. We know that providing our OE family members with an environment that is both physically and emotionally safe is a priority. Here you’ll find details about our library’s Covid safety measures. And, because we’re information specialists, we’ll include relevant links to the guidance used in the safety guideline development process. Our hope is that sharing these details helps you feel comfortable using all of our library resources!

MASKS: Ms. McNerney and Mrs. Gaefke will wear masks while in OE. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission” (source). The CDC has an online tool to check community transmission rates. As of Aug. 5, 2021 Johnson County is classified as “High Transmission” (source). Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends “All students older than 2 years and all school staff should wear face masks at school (unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit use)” (source). Finally, the Olathe School district requires all school members to wear masks while in our buildings (source). As Covid continues to evolve, and the scientific community learns more, we understand that even vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus (source) and so Mrs. Gaefke and I are committed to wearing masks at OE in order to do our part to minimize the potential of spreading Covid at school.

PLEXIGLASS DIVIDERS AT CIRCULATION/RECEPTION DESKS: We recognize that plexiglass dividers in high traffic contact areas (reception areas, retail spaces, office spaces) are now standard, and that these dividers provide reassurance to both community members and staff. In alignment with these practices our library has installed dividers on the library’s book circulation/reception area. We’d like to send a special thank you to Dr. Jim McMullen and his team at the Operations Center for designing, building, and installing custom dividers for the OE library. They are securely installed from the ceiling (so they won’t tumble onto any students who might accidentally bump them!), and the frameless design makes them very visually unobtrusive!

CONTACTLESS BOOK CHECKOUT: For students who are interested in limiting their in-person interactions we are happy to allow students to place book holds online and pick the books up from secure lockers. Directions for placing online holds available here.

BOOK QUARANTINE: Current scientific research indicates Covid (and its variants) spread primarily through airborne transmissions (source). Current guidelines for library materials suggest that transmission through surfaces is low. Our local library systems are not currently quarantining returned materials. However, out of an abundance of caution– and to reassure our OE community members who may still be concerned about surface transmission– we will quarantine all materials before returning them to the collection for circulation. The quarantine period will last three days since research indicates that even when library materials were deliberately swabbed with Covid, after three days no remaining virus was detected (source). Again, we believe the likelihood of transmitting Covid through library materials to be extremely low (if even possible at all) but we want to give our community members the utmost reassurance that handling library materials is perfectly safe.

SOCIAL DISTANCE IN THE LIBRARY: Our primary library instructional area was designed in the golden Pre-Covid era to seat up to 36 people. Unfortunately, the space does not allow for the current minimum social distance recommendations of 3′ in schools (source). In light of this, our library staff currently encourages whole class library instruction to take place in classroom locations which allow for a minimum of 3′ of social distance. Outside of the primary instructional area, the rest of our beautiful library facility easily allows for library visitors to maintain social distance while browsing for books, utilizing study tables, and enjoying our new lounge seating! Our new seating is colorful, stylish, and most importantly– comfortable! Not to mention it’s easy to clean. We hope you’ll love kicking back and relaxing in our space!

Published by Olathe East High School

Olathe East High School Librarian

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