The times keep right on a-changing: Update the spreadsheet please

The link is in the operations toggle on the COVID-19 page, or use this link to the spreadsheet page.Library and IFLS staff use this info, so thanks for keeping it up to date.

Close Contact redefined: from Pamela (LEPMPL) and the CDC

The CDC recently amended the definition of “close contact,” which will significantly expand the pool of individuals who will potentially be subject to self-quarantine for 14 days in the event of an exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  In a nutshell, the “within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more” is no longer a time period of 15 consecutive minutes in a 24-hour period; but a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.  The new definition is as follows (also copied to the state/federal guidance toggle on the COVID-19 page):

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

* Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Because the general public has not received training on proper selection and use of respiratory PPE, such as an N95, the determination of close contact should generally be made irrespective of whether the contact was wearing respiratory PPE.  At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.

Under this new definition of “close contact,” three (3) brief employee interactions of five (5) minutes within a 24-hour period can now trigger the self-quarantine requirement if that person the employee interacted with later tests positive for COVID-19.  With this in mind, it is more important than ever for employees to wear masks and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet whenever possible.  Please encourage employees you supervise to keep face-to-face interactions with other employees and members of the public as brief as possible when they are not able to maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet.  This includes riding in vehicles together where it is likely impossible to maintain a 6-foot distance.

Thanks from a Patron

This is what has helped me the most throughout the pandemic.  What would I do without my library?!  The ease of ordering online with the new format, picking up books in the parking lot, the friendly voices on the phone whenever I call…you have made it safe and easy.  I am so grateful to all of the staff.  I hope you have some idea of how much you are valued, and the wonderful, soul-saving work you are doing.


Barb (Deer Park) highly recommends The Social Dilemma, now on Netflix.

Pamela (LEPMPL) suggests Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson.

Leah (IFLS) really like this piece about how to worry mindfully.