October 1, 2020

Dear Patrons, Residents, and Friends of the Siuslaw Public Library:

Yesterday, we learned that the Siuslaw Public Library District has joined the many thousands of families, businesses, and organizations directly impacted by COVID-19. One library staff member at our Florence location has tested positive for COVID-19. All of my thoughts are with our staff member and their family. I am so glad they are receiving the care they need.

The staff member received a positive result on September 30, 2020 and has not been at the library since Friday, September 25. The evidence is that this positive COVID-19 infection was not contracted locally, but was due to a vacation out of the area.

Because we are committed to the health of this community and our staff, we have coordinated with Lane County Public Health and verified that this is considered a low-risk situation for our other employees and that the risk is even lower for members of the public. However, out of an abundance of caution, we did immediately deep clean our Florence location upon learning of the positive test result and spoke with any affected employees or volunteers. The Siuslaw Public Library District Board and staff all feel it is very important to be transparent even in a low-risk incident like this. We want you to know what we are doing to keep our staff and community safe.

No other library employee meets the standard for being a close contact for the positive employee, which would mean being less than 6 feet away from the infected individual for more than 15 minutes. The staff member who tested positive had almost no public interaction when they worked last week (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and, like all of us here, interacted with coworkers and the public only while masked and at a distance of more than 6 feet for minimal amounts of time.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been taking safety very seriously at the Siuslaw Public Library District, and that commitment will continue. That commitment to safety is likely part of what makes this a lower-risk case. A special thank you to our patrons for supporting changes to how we serve you, and to helping us keep ourselves and you safe in new ways.

We have implemented all of the following safety procedures to keep staff, patrons, and volunteers safe at our library:

  • Curbside pick-up of library materials to reduce any contact between staff and patrons

  • Limited public access to the library building to twice-daily computer appointments with deep cleaning and disposable keyboard and mouse covers for each session

  • Following current mask-wearing guidelines for the public and staff, and maintaining social distancing for all staff and volunteers inside the building

  • Increased hand-washing with daily temperature screening for any staff member or volunteer accessing the building

  • Quarantining all returned library materials and temporarily suspending book donations.

We’re following all recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Oregon Health Authority guidelines and will continue to keep the community’s health at the front of all decisions we make.

If you have COVID-19 questions, please consider calling Lane County Public Health’s non-emergency hotline at 541-682-1380 or visit them online at lanecounty.org/coronavirus for the most accurate information specific to our larger community.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the Siuslaw Public Library District is encouraged to reach out to me at 541-997-3132 or meg@siuslawlibrary.org.


Meg Spencer
Siuslaw Public Library District Director

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