The purpose of this plan is to protect employees against exposure and disease during an airborne infectious disease outbreak. This plan goes into effect when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health. This plan is subject to any additional or greater requirements arising from a declaration of a state of emergency due to an airborne infectious disease, as well as any applicable federal standards.
Employees should report any questions or concerns with the implementation this plan to the Library Manager.
This plan applies to all “employees” as defined by the New York State HERO Act, which means any person providing labor or services for remuneration for a business within the state, without regard to an individual’s immigration status, and shall include part-time workers and other temporary and seasonal workers.
As of the date of adoption of this document, while the State continues to deal with COVID-19 and a risk still exists, no designation is in effect at this time. The Library Manager will check the websites of Departments of Health and Labor for up to date information on whether a designation has been put into effect, as any such designation will be prominently displayed. No employer is required to put a plan into effect absent such a designation by the Commissioner of Health.
CONTENTS RESPONSIBILITIES EXPOSURE CONTROLS DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK Minimum Controls During an Outbreak Advanced Controls During an Outbreak Exposure Control Readiness, Maintenance and Storage HOUSEKEEPING DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK INFECTION RESPONSE DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK TRAINING AND INFORMATION DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK PLAN EVALUATIONS DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK RETALIATION PROTECTIONS AND REPORTING OF ANY VIOLATIONS
This plan applies to all employees of the Morrisville Public Library.
This plan requires commitment to ensure compliance with all plan elements aimed at preventing the spread of infectious disease. The Library Manager is designated to enforce compliance with the plan.
Additionally, the Library Manager will act as the designated contact unless otherwise noted in this plan:
EXPOSURE CONTROLS DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK
A. MINIMUM CONTROLS DURING AN OUTBREAK
During an airborne infectious disease outbreak, the following minimum controls will be used in all areas of the library:
1. General Awareness: Individuals may not be aware that they have the infectious disease and can spread it to others. Employees should remember to:
• Maintain physical distancing;
• Exercise coughing/sneezing etiquette;
• Wear face coverings, gloves, and personal protective equipment (PPE), as appropriate;
• Individuals limit what they touch;
• Stop social etiquette behaviors such as hugging and hand shaking, and
• Wash hands properly and often.
2. “Stay at Home Policy”: If an employee develops symptoms of the infectious disease, the employee should not be at the library. The employee should inform the Library Manager and follow New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance regarding obtaining medical care and isolating.
3. Health Screening: Employees will be screened for symptoms of the infectious disease at the beginning of their shift. Employees are to self-monitor throughout their shift and report any new or emerging signs or symptoms of the infectious disease to the Library Manager. An employee showing signs or symptoms of the infectious disease will be asked to go home and should contact a healthcare professional for instructions.
The health screening elements will follow guidance from NYSDOH and CDC guidance, if available.
4. Face Coverings: To protect your coworkers, employees will wear face coverings throughout the workday to the greatest extent possible. Face coverings and physical distancing should be used together whenever possible. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly, but comfortably, against the face. The face covering itself must not create a hazard, e.g. have features could get caught in something or cause severe fogging of eyewear. The face coverings must be kept clean and sanitary and changed when soiled, contaminated, or damaged.
5. Physical Distancing: Physical distancing will be followed as much as feasible. Avoid unnecessary gatherings and maintain a distance of at least six feet (or as recommended by the NYSDOH/CDC for the infectious agent) from each other. Use a face covering when physical distance cannot be maintained.
In situations where prolonged close contact with other individuals is likely, the Morrisville Public Library will be using the following control methods:
• restricting or limiting patron entry;
• limiting occupancy;
• physical barriers;
• floor markings;
• remote meetings;
• preventing gatherings;
• creating new work shifts and/or staggering work hours;
• delivering services remotely or through curb-side pickup;
6. Hand Hygiene: To prevent the spread of infection, employees should wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean hands BEFORE and AFTER:
• Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth;
• Touching your mask;
• Entering and leaving a public place; and
• Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, circulation desk etc.
Because hand sanitizers are less effective on soiled hands, employees should wash hands rather than using hand sanitizer as much as they can.
7. Cleaning and Disinfection: See Section 3 of this plan.
8. “Respiratory Etiquette”: Because infectious diseases can be spread by droplets expelled from the mouth and nose, employees should exercise appropriate respiratory etiquette by covering nose and mouth when sneezing, coughing or yawning.
9. Special Accommodations for Individuals with Added Risk Factors: Some employees, due to age, underlying health condition, or other factors, may be at increased risk of severe illness if infected. Please inform the Library Manager if you fall within this group and need an accommodation.
B. ADVANCED CONTROLS DURING AN OUTBREAK
For activities where the Minimum Controls alone will not provide sufficient protection for employees, additional controls from the following hierarchy may be necessary. The Library Manager will determine if the following are necessary:
1. Elimination: The Library may consider the temporary suspension or elimination of risky activities where adequate controls could not provide sufficient protection for employees. Examples include:
• quarantining materials before recirculation
• Limiting in library use
2. Engineering Controls: The Library will consider appropriate controls to contain and/or remove the infectious agent, prevent the agent from being spread, or isolate the employee from the infectious agent. Examples of engineering controls include:
i. General Ventilation, for example:
a. Increasing the percentage of fresh air introduced into air handling systems;
b. Avoiding air recirculation;
c. Utilize air filters with rating of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13 or higher for our HVAC system and closing the front of the library (as the furnace cannot have them)
ii. Natural Ventilation:
a. Opening outside windows and doors (if possible)
iii. Use physical barriers to separate employees from members of the general public at the circulation desk
iv. Use rope-and-stanchion systems to keep patrons out of areas they needn’t be in, etc. Post signs or floor markers instructing individuals waiting in line to allow for physical distancing;
3. Administrative Controls: The Library Manager will put into place policies and work rules used to prevent exposure. They include:
• Increasing the space between employees;
• Disinfecting procedures for shift changes and while on duty;
• Employee training;
• Identify and prioritize job functions that are essential for continuous operations;
• Post signs reminding employees/patrons of respiratory etiquette, masks, handwashing;
• Rearrange traffic flow to allow for one way walking paths;
• Provide clearly designated entrance and exits;
• Reduce occupancy by limiting the number of patrons permitted in the library at any one time;
• Provide no contact pickup by the main entrance;
• Minimize handling cash and library cards;
• Deny admission to individuals who do not wear face coverings;
• Provide hand sanitizer for patrons and require them to use it upon entrance and recommend using it upon leaving;
• Do not allow eating or drinking in the shared work space; make the employee go to their car, the program room, etc.;
• Do not handle any materials from the patrons, for example: reusable bags, library cards, trash, etc.;
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are devices like eye protection, face shields, respirators, and gloves that protect the wearer from infection. PPE will be provided, used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition at no cost to the employee. The PPE provided to an employee will be based on a hazard assessment for the library. The following PPE that are anticipated to be used are face coverings; face shields, disposable and gloves.
C. EXPOSURE CONTROL READINESS, MAINTENANCE AND STORAGE
The controls the library has selected will be obtained, properly stored, and maintained so that they are ready for immediate use in the event of an infectious disease outbreak and any applicable expiration dates will be properly considered.
HOUSEKEEPING DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK
A. DISINFECTION METHODS AND SCHEDULES
Objects that are touched repeatedly by multiple individuals, such as door handles, light switches, controls, buttons/levers, dials, levers, water faucet handles, computers, phones, or handrails must be cleaned frequently with an appropriate disinfectant. Surfaces that are handled less often, or by fewer individuals, may require less frequent disinfection.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC)and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have compiled lists of approved disinfectants that are effective against many infectious agents The Library will select disinfectants based on NYSDOH and CDC guidance and follow manufacturer guidance for methods, dilution, use, and contact time.
B. ADJUSTMENTS TO NORMAL HOUSEKEEPING PROCEDURES
Normal housekeeping duties and schedules should continue to be followed during an infectious disease outbreak, to the extent practicable and appropriate consistent with NYSDOH and/or CDC guidance in effect at the time. However, routine procedures may need to be adjusted and additional cleaning and disinfecting may be required.
Dry sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting, can resuspend into the air particles that are contaminated with the infectious agent. For that reason, the following methods will be used:
1. Rather than dusting the CDC recommends cleaning surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them. Staff will do this instead of dusting.
2. Vacuuming and sweeping will only be done by the cleaner after hours (allowing at least 3 hours for the air circulation to improve before anyone else comes into the building.).
3. The cleaner must wear a mask at all times while sweeping and vacuuming to protect against the airborne particles.
C. If an employee develops symptoms of the infectious disease at work, the library will isolate the area in accordance with guidance issued by NYSDOH or the CDC, before cleaning and disinfecting the sick employee’s work space. This delay will allow contaminated droplets to settle out of the air and the space to be ventilated.
D. Trash liners must be used in all trash containers. Staff will empty the trash receptacles often enough to prevent overfilling. Staff are to not forcefully squeeze the air out of the trash bags before tying them closed. Trash containers may contain soiled tissue or face coverings.
INFECTION RESPONSE DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK
If an actual, or suspected, infectious disease case occurs at the library, we will take the following actions:
• Instruct the sick employee to wear a face covering, leave the library and follow NYSDOH/CDC guidance.
• Follow local and state authority guidance to inform impacted individuals.
TRAINING AND INFORMATION DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK
A. The Library Manager will verbally inform all employees of the existence and location of this Plan, the circumstances it can be activated, the infectious disease standard, employer policies, and employee rights under the HERO Act.
B. When this plan is activated, all personnel will receive training which will cover all elements of this plan and the following topics:
1. The infectious agent and the disease(s) it can cause;
2. The signs and symptoms of the disease;
3. How the disease can be spread;
4. An explanation of this Exposure Prevention Plan;
5. The activities and locations at the library that may involve exposure to the infectious agent;
6. The use and limitations of exposure controls
7. A review of the standard, including employee rights provided under Labor Law, Section 218-B.
C. The training will be:
1. Provided at no cost to employees and take place during working hours. If training during normal work hours is not possible, employees will be compensated for the training time (with pay);
2. Appropriate in content and vocabulary to the employee’s educational level, literacy, and preferred language; and
3. Verbally provided in person or through telephonic, electronic, or other means.
PLAN EVALUATIONS DURING A DESIGNATED OUTBREAK
The Library Manager will review and revise the plan periodically, upon activation of the plan, and as often as needed to keep up-to-date with current requirements.
RETALIATION PROTECTIONS AND REPORTING OF ANY VIOLATIONS
The Library Manager, Board of Trustee member, or anyone acting as or on behalf of the Morrisville Public Library shall discriminate, threaten, retaliate against, or take adverse action against any employee for exercising their rights under this plan, including reporting conduct the employee reasonably believes in good faith violates the plan or airborne infectious disease concerns to the Library Manager, government agencies or officials or for refusing to work where an employee reasonably believes in good faith that such work exposes him or her, other workers, or the public to an unreasonable risk of exposure, provided the employee, another employee, or representative has notified the Library Manager verbally or in writing, including electronic communication, of the inconsistent working conditions and the Library’s failure to cure or if the Library Manager knew or should have known of the consistent working conditions.
Notification of a violation by an employee may be made verbally or in writing, and without limitation to format including electronic communications. To the extent that communications between the Library and employee regarding a potential risk of exposure are in writing, they shall be maintained by the Library for two years after the conclusion of the designation of a high risk disease from the Commissioner of Health, or two years after the conclusion of the Governor’s emergency declaration of a high risk disease. The Library should include contact information to report violations of this plan and retaliation during regular business hours when employees may be working.
Adopted July 15, 2021