ACLS Updates: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Resources:
Updated March 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM
The Federal website where Americans can request free COVID-19 tests will begin accepting orders on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests now so you have them when you need them. Please visit https://www.covidtests.gov/ or call 1-800-232-0233 to order your test kits.
Rapid COVID-19 Test Kit and KN95 Mask Supplies
Please see below for updates on supplies of COVID-19 Antigen test kits AND KN-95 Masks.
Mask Supplies are OUT OF STOCK at ALL LOCATIONS.
COVID-19 Test Kit Supplies are available at:
- Frostburg Library
- George’s Creek Library
- South Cumberland Library
- Washington Street Library
- Westernport Library
FAQs and a few things to remember about COVID-19 home test and mask distribution:
YES, the test kits are FREE! We do limit the kits to 4 per household, however. (Each kit has two test swabs.)
WHY: To encourage testing before family gatherings to ensure a safe holiday season for our residents.
🛑 Please DO NOT come into the library if you are having symptoms of COVID or if you have been instructed to quarantine.
Sadly, we cannot hold or send tests to other libraries, tests are while supplies last.
For more information about COVID testing and vaccine clinics, please contact the Allegany County Health Department or call their COVID-19 CALL CENTER: 240-650-3999.
Effective Tuesday, March 1, 2022 ACLS Will be Strongly Encouraging Facemasks to be Worn Inside the Libraries
Effective Tuesday, March 1, 2022 the Allegany County Library System will strongly encourage facemasks to be worn by all library visitors over the age of two (2).
Supply Chain Delays
Just as we have all been hearing in the news, the global shipping and labor crises are having impacts on library operations as well. Material vendors have notified the Allegany County Library System staff of delays along the supply chain resulting from things like the lack of availability of paper for publishers to print their books, shortages of employees to prepare books for shipment, and truckers to transport the materials to us.
Please know that the ACLS Materials Department staff are working hard to minimize the delays as much as possible and get books into the hands of the community, but some of these matters are out of our control.
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.
The following safety procedures will remain in place:
- Masks and social distancing are encouraged 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 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, 2021 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 during 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.
- Masks are available upon request.
- Library users will have access to cleaning supplies to disinfect public computer stations before and after sessions.
- 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, 2021. 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.
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