The East Greenwich Free Library was closed Monday through Wednesday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. Library Director Adrienne Girard said she learned on Sunday a staff member tested positive.
“As soon as I found out, we implemented our COVID-19 response plan for the library,” Girard said. “We decided to close until Thursday, Jan. 7, based on R.I. Department of Health advice. I instructed all staff who had any contact with the ill staff member to get tested, and called the 120 patrons on our contact tracing list.”
Girard said the employee worked last Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 29 and 30), but did not feel ill until in the week. “So far, about half our employees have received their test results and have tested negative,” she said. “We’re grateful to all our patrons who have been so understanding during this time and are looking forward to opening tomorrow.”
The library has served the public almost continually since the pandemic descended here in March. While it was closed to the public, it was open for curbside service by April and began letting customers back inside in July.
“We consider ourselves fortunate to have remained open when others have had to close. We think a good part of it is because we have been operating with an abundance of caution,” said Girard. “Throughout the pandemic, we have been working diligently to help keep our patrons and staff safe with measures such as quarantining materials, encouraging social distancing, limiting the amount of time people can spend in the library and asking that everyone wears a mask in the building. At this point, it looks like our efforts have been successful in protecting our community.”
The director said she encouraged anyone who feels unsure about exposure to the virus, regardless of whether or not they visited the library last week, to take advantage of the state’s extensive testing resources. “I scheduled my test through the R.I. Department of Health portal at portal.ri.gov. It was quick, easy, and painless and I received my results in a little over 24 hours,” she said.