COVID-19 Safety Plan Snapshot

This snapshot of our COVID-19 Safety is designed to let the public know what measures are being taken in the library to protect our staff and community. 

Business name:  Centre Hastings Public Library                                        

Date completed:        September 22nd, 2020

Measures we’re taking

How we’re ensuring workers know how to keep themselves safe from exposure to COVID-19

·         Developing procedures and plans that ensure a safe workspace

·         Performing a risk assessment that creates an awareness of potential vector points

·         Working with a Phased Re-opening Plan that allows library service, where possible, without increasing risk to staff or patrons.

·         Ensuring procedures are up to date by reviewing all new guidance and protocols provided by the Ministry of Health and local Health Unit

·         Clear and timely communication of new procedures and news that effects the library via email, chat and in-person meetings

·         Developing procedures that cover mandatory workplace guidelines as well as best practices that protect staff when they are home, including practicing all prevention methods listed here:

·         All staff must complete Coronavirus Preparedness for Employers and Employees course, available through WSPS

·         HPEPU mask mandate will be followed

·         Reviewing procedures regularly

·         Reminding workers about other resources that are available to them through our website for reliable pandemic information, mental health, and school-related information for parents

How we’re screening for COVID-19

CEO will regularly review new reliable health information and ensure that all staff are kept up to date on the latest scientific-based evidence regarding COVID-19 symptoms

Staff must self-screen daily and report to CEO if they, or members of their household, have any symptoms of COVID-19.  If symptoms are present, they must not report to work

Staff may return to work after a negative test result is received and they are symptom free (ie: family member was ill)

Staff must remain at home if symptomatic, even with a negative test result, to preven the spread of other illness in the workplace (colds, flu, etc.).  Staff members will be assigned work-from-home duties and can return to the library once they are no longer highly contagious (coughing, sneezing, etc.). Extra care must be taken to follow proper hygiene procedures and limit contact and sharing items with others until full recovery has been achieved.

Staff are encouraged to self-monitor at all times, and leave the workspace if symptoms arise.

Clear signage with screening questions are located on the entrance door.

Patrons are not allowed to enter staff workspaces.

How we’re controlling the risk of transmission in our workplace

Physical distancing and separation

·         To ensure physical distancing only 6 visitors are allowed in the library at once, with a time limit of ½ hour.  To track this, after sanitizing their hands visitors must take a shopping basket and timer upon entry.

·         Aisles are clearly marked with arrows and signage

·         A plexiglass barrier has been installed at the front service desk

·         All staff must follow the Employee Guidelines for Working Through a Pandemic which highlights areas of risk and prevention methods

·         Staff have been assigned their own work areas, phones, and equipment 

·         Any equipment that must be shared is disinfected after use.

·         A washroom has been designated for staff use only to ensure availability for handwashing.  Hand sanitizer has been placed throughout the library. Staff must wash/sanitize hands upon arrival, before and after contact with items and surfaces that others may have touched, after handling library books that have not been through quarantine (processing for patron, books from book drop), and regularly during their shift.

·         Masks must be worn by all staff members in areas of the building that are accessible to the public.  Staff may take their masks off briefly to communicate with those who cannot hear or understand communication through a mask, and to eat or drink.  Masks may be removed when working in fully enclosed office space or other areas that are not accessible to the public (storage areas, etc.).

·         Physical distancing is required at all times.

·         All visitors must follow the mask mandate from HPEHU and the Province of Ontario, unless they are medically exempt. The library will provide a disposable mask to staff or visitors who do not have one and/or a face shield. Porch Pick-up service is still available for those who cannot wear a mask.


·         Enhanced cleaning protocols are in place, and high tough surfaces (door handles, drop box, washrooms) are sanitized regularly during each shift with full cleaning/disinfecting completed after hours


·         All staff must follow the Employee Guidelines for Working Through a Pandemic which highlights areas of risk and prevention methods

·         Gloves are available for use by workers, but will not usually be needed as they do not provide any more protection than hand washing or using hand sanitizer

What we will do if there is a potential case, or suspected exposure to, COVID-19 at our workplace

·         The library will follow all public health guidance regarding exposure, including but not limited to: notifying other workers who were exposed and directing them to self-isolate, self-monitor, and report any symptoms; shut down the library until the space and equipment can be disinfected; shut down the library if all/most staff members are affected

·         Ensure all staff know where to find self-screening and local public health information

·         Staff will immediately go home and self-isolate if any symptoms arise, and arrange for testing as soon as possible

·         Staff must follow public health guidance and may be required to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days or longer.  Staff can work from home, if able, during this period.

·         Staff have been encouraged to limit their social bubble as per Ontario Public Health guidance.  Should a staff member receive a positive COVID-19 test result, they will be asked to provide a contact list to Public Health. 

·         Physical distancing and masks are always required so risk of transmission to library patrons and other staff members is exceptionally low, however, to perform due diligence the Library CEO will review and list all interactions by the staff member while they were in the library.

·         Patron contact information will be provided to Public Health if deemed necessary for contact tracing

How we’re managing any new risks caused by the changes made to the way we operate our business

·         Regular discussions with staff members (group meetings, individual conversations) to provide information about the changes and an opportunity for input and questions

·         Mental health check-ins to see how staff members are coping with the changes and offer support

·         Ensure staff are aware of any new protocols or procedures immediately

·         Work with staff to allow more flexibility in shift schedules to accommodate childcare, illness, etc., so staff do not feel compelled to work under potentially stressful or risky situations

·         Ensure workers have support and access to training in new technologies (software, social media platforms, etc.) to limit stress associated with adapting to online services

How we’re making sure our plan is working

·         CEO will monitor all new scientific based information regarding the pandemic, and update all plans, policies, and procedures accordingly

·         Staff will meet regularly during work hours to discuss how procedures are working in real-time and modifications will be discussed as a group

·         CEO encourages new ideas from staff to be brought forward

·         If a better or easier way to do things is discovered, the CEO will adapt the corresponding documentation accordingly

·         Changes that affect workers will be communicated in person, chat, or email and amended documents will be provided

·         Changes that affect the public will be posted on the library website, social media, in library, and on the local cable channel

·         Plans will be updated as needed

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding these procedures, please speak with CEO Tammie Adams in person, by calling 613-473-4456, or emailing

Local Roots. Global Access.