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March 2, 2020

Coronavirus and Our Communities

Coronavirus and Our Communities

As leaders of trusted community organizations, you are no doubt concerned about the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19.  I'd like to provide an update of what has been done to prepare in the event an outbreak occurs in Pennsylvania and where you can access authoritative information for your community.

Earlier this month, the state Department of Health (DOH) activated the Health Emergency Operations Center to streamline cross sector coordination. DOH also continues to update factsheets and information about the virus on its website.

The best way to prepare for an outbreak in Pennsylvania continues to be ensuring that each of us practices good hygiene, including washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, keeping surfaces clean, and encouraging people to stay home if they are sick.

As library leaders you should also prepare by reviewing your existing pandemic plans and policies, educating the community, and working with local health and emergency officials to update community plans to address a potential virus outbreak.

More Information

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Department of Homeland Security

American Library Association

The Future

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will continue to coordinate with DOH and others to ensure that Pennsylvania is prepared should there be an outbreak of COVID-19 here.  I encourage you to check DOH's website regularly for the most up-to-date information and to work with your local officials to ensure your community has a plan suited to meet your needs.

Glenn R. Miller, Deputy Secretary & Commissioner for Libraries