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Yellow Phase

As regions or counties move into the yellow phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction will ease while others, such as closures of schools, gyms, and other indoor recreation centers, as well as limitations around large gatherings, remain in place.

The purpose of this phase is to begin to reopen Pennsylvania while keeping a close eye on the public health data to ensure the spread of disease remains contained to the greatest extent possible.

What Does It Mean When My County or Region Changes from Red to Yellow?

When the Governor announces that a county or region is changing from red to yellow, libraries in yellow areas will be permitted to reopen with limited services, provided they adhere to the DOH and CDC guidelines and the matrix below.

The yellow phase is broken into three stages for libraries:

  1. Stage 1: Preparing the staff, collections, and facility for return to service.
  2. Stage 2: Limited public services restored.
  3. Stage 3: Library building opens for in-person service with precautionary measures in place.

Library boards in consultation with their library director will determine locally when to advance from stage 1 to stage 2 of the yellow phase, and then to stage 3 of the yellow phase as staffing levels and supplies allow.

During the first stage when staff reenter library facilities, libraries must implement all state and federal guidelines that apply to community organizations and businesses. These include:

  1. Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate during the COVID-19 Disaster; Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public;
  2. Order of the Governor and Secretary of Health providing for business safety measures (to keep employees and customers safe);
  3. Order of the Governor and Secretary of Health providing for building safety measures;
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes;
  5. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Green Phase of reopening
  6. Summer Recreation, Camps, and Pools Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Considerations for Youth and Summer Camps
  8. CDC COVID-19 Employer information for Office Buildings;
  9. CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers;
  10. CDC Interim Guidance for Community and Faith-Based Organizations; and
  11. PDE Office of Commonwealth Libraries Framework for Reopening Public Libraries.

In addition, libraries may find it helpful to review guidance in the Caring for Our Children national standards database on the selection of appropriate sanitizers or disinfectants for child care settings provided by the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education.

Finally, libraries must also observe best practices for quarantining and disinfecting library materials. For more information, consult Appendix A: Safe Handling of Physical Materials.