Service Changes Effective January 4, 2021

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Authored on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 at 5:45pm, updated January 11 at 7:59am
As Covid-19 positivity rates rapidly climb in Saratoga County, in-library browsing will be temporarily suspended beginning January 4, and other service changes may be imminent, according to the Library's Business Reopening Safety Plan.

With Saratoga County Covid-19 test positivity rates continuing to climb very rapidly, we are closely monitoring metrics that determine our levels of in-person services in accordance with the library’s phased reopening, as outlined in our Business Reopening Safety Plan. Transitions between phases will be effective within 72 hours of when the metric for each phase is met. Release of data regarding positivity rates typically lags 24-36 hours.

According to the plan, “If the14-day-rolling-average positivity rate in Saratoga County is greater than 6% for 10 consecutive days… the library will operate according to Phase 2 of its Business Reopening Safety Plan, temporarily eliminating browsing.” Because this metric was met on December 27, with data released on December 28, beginning on Monday, January 4, 2021, browsing will temporarily be suspended, and the only in-building service offered will be pick up of items placed on hold.

Additionally, the plan states: “If the14-day-rolling-average positivity rate in Saratoga County is greater than 7% for 10 consecutive days the library will operate according to Phase 1 of its Business Reopening Safety Plan, close the building to the public, and limit the number of staff working onsite.” The 14-day-rolling-average positivity rate surpassed 7% on December 23. If it remains above 7% until January 1 (with January 1 data anticipated on January 2), as seems possible, the building will close to the public on January 4. In this scenario, we anticipate that borrowers will still be able to pick up holds, without entering the building, unless a further reduction in staffing is triggered by the Business Reopening Safety Plan.

If the 14-day-rolling-average positivity rate in Saratoga County is greater than 8% for 10 consecutive days, there will be additional reductions in staff working onsite. This afternoon, December 29, it was reported that the 14-day-positivity rate surpassed 8% on December 28. If this trend continues, there is a possibility that this metric will be met by January 6, with a possible reopening phase transition effective Monday, January 11.

We encourage everyone to take advantage of our digital materials, and our virtual programs. Librarians continue to be available via phone, e-mail, and chat. We will continue to keep you updated, as quickly as we can, given the rapidly evolving situation, about potential service changes. 

We urge everyone to follow safety measures such as wearing proper face-coverings, limiting unnecessary gatherings, and practicing physical distancing and proper hand and respiratory hygiene.