Darien Library reopens after COVID outbreak

The Darien Library

The Darien Library

The Darien Library

DARIEN — The Darien Library has reopened Thursday after a week-long closure due to four staff COVID-19 cases.

Library Director Kiera Parrott alerted patrons on the library website that after closing most parts of the building for the past seven days, the library reopened on Thursday.

Despite Gov. Ned Lamont announcing COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted on March 19 for businesses and non-profits, including libraries, the Darien Library plans to continue with its protocols pending further vaccinations and another review.

“While we applaud the tremendous progress that the state of Connecticut has made in combating this virus and bringing our numbers under control, the library will continue to maintain the above health and safety protocols until such time as we can ensure that both patrons and staff are safe,” Parrott said.

The library was closed for the week, according to Parrott, to complete contact tracing and have a cleaning crew do a deep sanitizing of all public and staff spaces.

Parrott said as a result of contact tracing, a total of 10 librarians were quarantined, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

“That temporary loss of staff made it impossible for us to appropriately and safely staff the building; we therefore restricted public access to our Community Room holds and returns over the weekend and through (Thursday),” she said.

Parrott said the library had no additional COVID-19 cases reported as a result of contact tracing for either staff or patrons.

“We continue to make the health and safety of our patrons and staff our highest priority,” she said.

The library will continue its safety protocols, including:

— All individuals must wear a mask in the library at all times and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from all others. The library has masks on hand for those who need them.

— In-person visits and computer sessions are limited to 30-minutes per person, per day.

— Patrons using public computers and copiers must wear disposable gloves and are asked to sanitize all surfaces, including the keyboard, mouse, etc., using disinfectant wipes before and after use. The library provides gloves, wipes, and hand sanitizer throughout the building.

Parrott said all public and staff spaces in the library are cleaned and sanitized throughout the day by a full-time custodian, and a night crew performs another round of cleaning afterward.

All returned library materials are also placed in quarantine for several days before being returned to circulation.

Also, Darien Library staff members are required to complete a daily health questionnaire and must quarantine if they have symptoms or exposure until they test negative.