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BCLD expects to drop mask requirement June 1

Baker County Library District is planning to return to nearly normal operations on June 1 in response to the May 13 announcements by federal and state officials regarding the easing of mask and social distancing guidelines for people who are fully vaccinated.

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“We do need to stay patient a bit longer while waiting for additional OHA and OSHA policy

 clarifications and for several staff to reach their fully-vaccinated anniversary

,” said Perry Stokes, library district director. “So for now, masks are still required in the library, even for individuals who are fully vaccinated or otherwise have antibodies.”

But starting June 1, Stokes expects that masks will be optional for everyone inside the library.

“We won’t be policing vaccination cards,” Stokes said. “We will support our visitors’ personal decisions to dress and behave how they like as long as it doesn’t violate our Code of Conduct policy.”

Use of the Library2Go digital catalog or drive-up window service is highly recommended for persons at-risk for a severe COVID-19 infection, or otherwise uncomfortable with the return to normal policy.

June 1 also marks the one-year anniversary since the libraries reopened following a pandemic-prompted closure starting in March 2020. Checkout of physical books and other materials was stopped from March 28 through May 17, while digital services were available throughout.

With UV light sanitation, early adoption of mask wearing for staff, and improving air filtration and ventilation in buildings, libraries have remained open through most of the pandemic period, without any workplace outbreaks.

Stokes said the library district administration and staff are grateful for the community engagement and support this past 15 months and patience in the final stretch.


From Baker City Herald article, May 18 2021; pg. 1.