ACLS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Resources:
Updated August 26, 2021 at 1:45 PM
Latest Update: The Frostburg Library will temporarily close Thursday, August 26, Friday, August 27, and Saturday August 28 due to a known COVID exposure on Tuesday, August 24. The library will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. We will evaluate staffing levels on Monday, August 30 to determine if any further closure is required. The Allegany County Health Department has been contacted in order to follow proper contact tracing procedures.
Effective Mon. August 16, 2021 ACLS Will be Requiring Facemasks to be Worn Inside the Libraries
Effective Monday, August 16, 2021 the Allegany County Library System will require facemasks to be worn by all library visitors over the age of two (2).
Allegany County has reached a community transmission level of “high” as of August 11, 2021 according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. People in areas with a level of “substantial” or “high” community transmission rates are urged to wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. After considering several factors, the Library Board of Trustees voted to reinstate a mask requirement in the library buildings at their monthly meeting on Tuesday. John Taube, Executive Director of the Allegany County Library System, said “because of the steep increases in local 7 day average case rates in the last 30 days, our relatively low percentage of vaccinated community members, and most importantly to protect all of the minors and children who are now visiting the libraries once again, I feel it is the right course of action to ask our patrons and staff to mask up to ensure the health and safety of our community.”
Taube also mentioned that library users and the staff have been very patient with the re-opening of the libraries and that he hopes the community recognizes that the potential inconvenience of wearing a mask today will prevent more limits to library access and usage in the future.
Saturday Hours Resume at South Cumberland and Frostburg Library on July 10
On May 3, the Allegany County Library System extend library hours to open from 11 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Thursday at the Frostburg, George’s Creek, South Cumberland, Washington Street, and Westernport Libraries. The Frostburg and South Cumberland Libraries will be open Saturdays from 11 AM to 5 PM starting July 10. The LaVale Library remains closed for renovations.
The extension of the library hours comes as the next step in the library’s reopening plan that was developed last May. With the extended hours, the libraries will also reopen all of the children’s rooms as well as ease some of the safety constraints including the length of stay limitation. Enhanced safety procedures will remain in place including the availability of sanitizing stations and the continuation of encouraging masks. Visitors will be required to wear a mask effective August 16, 2021 and practice social distancing while at the libraries.
The following safety procedures will remain in place for Phase 6, starting August 16:
- Masks and social distancing are REQUIRED while at the library and we ask that you refrain from entering the library if you or a household member is sick.
- Most community meeting rooms will open to the public in September 2021. We are now accepting reservations for public meetings. The Frostburg and Washington Street Meeting Room will remain closed.
The Allegany County Library System understands that this is an unprecedented and difficult time for many. We have taken the following steps to help remove barriers as much as possible to provide access to information and library services:
- Sidewalk pickup may be available for users who require accommodation as our resources allow. Please call your library to check for information, fill out the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form online or print a copy and return it to your library.
- Previously, library users with a fine balance over $7 were not able to check-out physical library materials. Starting March 1, the fine limit will be raised to $20, allowing for more library users to access physical library material.
- All library users, regardless of fine balance will continue to be able to access digital collections and resources.
The Allegany County Library System is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and community. We have implemented these enhanced safety measures for Phase 6 of reopening:
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the open areas of the library.
- Facilities will continue to be disinfected and cleaned on a nightly basis.
- Library staff will continue to clean and disinfect “high touch” areas, such as door knobs and handles, hourly during operating hours.
- Masks are available upon request.
- Library users will have access to cleaning supplies to disinfect public computer stations before and after sessions.
- Public computers will have keyboard covers that will be changed hourly.
- Library staff will disinfect the photocopier hourly.
- The Allegany County Library System has taken the Mountain Maryland Pledge to Prevent to demonstrate our shared commitment to the health and wellbeing of our employees, patrons, and the community.
The Allegany County Library System is using guidelines from the CDC, the State of Maryland, and the Allegany County Health Department. Even as we follow these guidelines, as a public space and service we cannot guarantee a risk-free environment. Using the library service is your decision based on the needs of you and your family. For anyone not comfortable using the library’s physical materials, digital collections are available at www.alleganycountylibrary.info/ebooksandmore.
These hours and services are subject to change as library administration continues to assess library staffing, facilities, resources, and supplies as well as local health statistics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit our website at www.alleganycountylibrary.info/coronavirus for the latest information and updates about library operations and reopening plans.
Overdue Fines Resume in May
Allegany County Library System staff are delighted to see you and welcome you back into our libraries since reopening on March 1. We look forward to the next phase of reopening and all the possibilities to continue meeting the community’s needs.
Over the last year, the library system suspended charging overdue fines. We wanted to make sure our community and students could still access library resources and do our part to assist while the community was going through unprecedented changes.
With the reopening of our libraries, we will resume the assessing of overdue fines for adults. This was a difficult but necessary decision, as our operating budget relies on collecting overdue fines.
We wanted to make this transition back to overdue fines as smooth a process as possible.
Plans to Reopen Community Libraries
Because we know the COVID-19 virus is still present in our communities, we are taking a cautious approach to ensure we are equipped with the necessary supplies and procedures to ensure the health and safety of library patrons and staff.
The Library Board of Trustees adopted a reopening plan. Library Director John Taube said “the Board’s primary motivation in adopting this plan is maintaining the safety of library patrons and staff while finding ways to provide necessary services that the library is uniquely positioned to perform.”
The reopening plan consists of six (6) phases toward fully reopening and is based on the planning and guidelines from the Allegany County Health Department, the State of Maryland, the CDC, and other library systems in the region. Taube continued “our staff have been yearning to come back to work and see their friends and neighbors and find new ways to provide the important services the community has come to know and love.“
Similar to the State of Maryland’s multi-phase Road to Recovery plan, the library’s phased plan to re-open will progress in accordance with the safety and health guidelines set by the State and ongoing assessments of library staffing, facilities, resources, and supplies.
Unfortunately, due to the timing of the state of emergency, we will not be reopening the LaVale Library prior to its long awaited renovation and expansion scheduled to start in mid-summer. News and updates on the renovation as well as the reopening plans will be announced on the Library’s website, social media channels, and in the local media outlets.
The library will continue to post its operating hours and other developments on the progress of the reopening plan on this page and social media pages.
During this challenging time, the Allegany County Library System is committed to ensuring the health and safety to our patrons, staff, and community.
We recognize how valuable our libraries are to the community as a safe space for access, learning, and enrichment.
All fine related blocks on library accounts have been temporarily removed to allow access to online resources during this time of emergency.
Library officials will continue to monitor the rapidly changing health crisis in the coming days and weeks, and we will respond accordingly.
We encourage you to check out the library’s many online materials that can be downloaded or streamed directly on your devices including eBooks, audiobooks, television shows, movies, music, newspapers and magazines.
ALL fine related blocks on library accounts have been temporarily removed to allow access to digital resources during this emergency.
Public Health Recommendations
Keep Yourself and Your Community Healthy
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or your upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Discard used tissues immediately.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer that is 60–90% alcohol-based.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice social distancing. Try to keep an optimal six-foot distance from other people.
- Stay home if you are not feeling well or experiencing flu-like symptoms. Contact your doctor.
Health Information and Resources
To get the latest updates, go to the CDC CoronaVirus webpage
- CDC: What you need to know Fact Sheet – English, Spanish, Chinese
- CDC: What to do if you are sick Fact Sheet – English, Spanish, Chinese