The CDC has issued new guidance regarding the use of masks and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. A few days later, Governor Cuomo relaxed the state-mandated and social distancing requirements for New Yorkers. Masks are no longer required by persons who are fully vaccinated (two or more weeks after their vaccine regimen) in certain locations The Board of Trustees of the Ainsworth Memorial Library realize this change is fraught with problems. In order to protect patrons’ privacy, we were not permitted to ask questions regarding a patron’s health beyond the acceptable Covid-19 exposure risks. Asking a patron if they’ve been vaccinated poses the same invasion of privacy. Children under the age of 12 are not yet vaccinated and the process has only begun for children 12- to 16-years old.
Furthermore, the daily Covid-19 positivity rate shared by the county has been fluctuating, leaving us to believe we may not yet be in a “safe zone.” New York State guidelines have often placed public libraries in the same category as educational institutions, and the Governor’s office has stated that schools must still have mask requirements in place. Therefore, the Board of Trustees has decided that our current mask and social distancing protocols will remain in place through June 15, 2021, when we can review new information from the health department and the state. We realize this may be an inconvenience for some of our patrons, but the safety of our staff and community is our primary concern in this decision.