Approved by the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library Board of Trustees on January 5, 2021. Revised on May 12, 2022.

This plan has been developed in accordance with NYS legislation S8617B/A10832.

Promulgation

This plan has been developed in accordance with the amended New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and l of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable. 

No content of this plan is intended to impede, infringe, diminish, or impair the rights of us or our valued employees under any law, rule, regulation, or collectively negotiated agreement, or the rights and benefits which accrue to employees through collective bargaining agreements, or otherwise diminish the integrity of the existing collective bargaining relationship.

This plan has been approved in accordance with requirements applicable to the agency, jurisdiction, authority, or district, as represented by the signature of the authorized individual below. 

As the authorized official of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library, I hereby attest that this plan has been developed, approved, and placed in full effect in accordance with S8617B/A10832 which amends New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and l of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable, to address public health emergency planning requirements. 

Signed on this day: January 11, 2021https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/orImZxk9SSHAk6FqGXFQEKB7c414-4ynvrdsxUwdWfx__-JD42mRh5ZLlNV5rqQDt_2u1EoELXsPXFlt090wzJflfY1LKvN_vW2R3E_OtFReDjurUwTaRwBm4NQLRQ
By: James HorthTitle: APAML Board President

Purpose, Scope, Situation Overview, and Assumptions

Purpose

This plan has been developed in accordance with the amended New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and l of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable. These laws were amended by the passing of legislation S8617B/A10832 signed by the Governor of New York State on September 7, 2020, requires public employers to adopt a plan for operations in the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease. The plan includes the identification of essential positions, facilitation of remote work for non-essential positions, provision of personal protective equipment, and protocols for supporting contact tracing. 

Scope

This plan was developed exclusively for and is applicable to the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library. This plan is pertinent to a declared public health emergency in the State of New York which may impact our operations; and it is in the interest of the safety of our employees and contractors, and the continuity of our operations that we have promulgated this plan. 

Situation Overview

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared a pandemic for the novel coronavirus which causes the COVID-19 severe acute respiratory syndrome. This plan has been developed in accordance with amended laws to support continued resilience for a continuation of the spread of this disease or for other infectious diseases which may emerge and cause a declaration of a public health emergency. 

The health and safety of our employees and contractors is crucial to maintaining our mission essential operations. We encourage all employees and contractors to use CDC Guidance for Keeping Workplaces, Schools, Homes, and Commercial Establishments Safe. The fundamentals of reducing the spread of infection include:

  • Using hand sanitizer and washing hands with soap and water frequently, including:
  • After using the restroom
  • After returning from a public outing
  • After touching/disposing of garbage
  • After using public computers, touching public tables, and countertops, etc.
  • Practice social distancing when possible
  • If you are feeling ill or have a fever, notify your supervisor immediately and go home
  • If you start to experience coughing or sneezing, step away from people and food, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm or a tissue, the latter of which should be disposed of immediately
  • Clean and disinfect workstations at the beginning, middle, and end of each shift
  • Other guidance which may be published by the CDC, the State Department of Health, or County health officials.

Planning Assumptions

This plan was developed based on information, best practices, and guidance available as of the date of publication. The plan was developed to largely reflect the circumstances of the current Coronavirus pandemic but may also be applicable to other infectious disease outbreaks. 

The following assumptions have been made in the development of this plan:

  • The health and safety of our employees and contractors, and their families, is of utmost importance
  • The circumstances of a public health emergency may directly impact our own operations. 
  • Impacts of a public health emergency will take time for us to respond to, with appropriate safety measures put into place and adjustments made to operations to maximize safety 
  • The public and our constituency expects us to maintain a level of mission essential operations
  • Resource support from other jurisdictions may be limited based upon the level of impact the public health emergency has upon them
  • Supply chains, particularly those for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, may be heavily impacted, resulting in considerable delays in procurement
  • The operations of other entities, including the private sector (vendors, contractors, etc.), non-profit organizations, and other governmental agencies and services may also be impacted due to the public health emergency, causing delays or other disruptions in their services
  • Emergency measures and operational changes may need to be adjusted based upon the specific circumstances and impacts of the public health emergency, as well as guidance and direction from public health officials and the governor
  • Per S8617B/A10832, ‘essential employee’ is defined as a public employee or contractor that is required to be physically present at a work site to perform their job
  • Per S8617B/A10832, ‘non-essential employee’ is defined as a public employee or contractor that is not required to be physically present at a work site to perform their job

Concept of Operations

The Board of Trustees and the Library Director of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library, holds the authority to execute and direct the implementation of this plan. Implementation, monitoring of operations, and adjustments to plan implementation may be supported by additional personnel, at the discretion of the Board of Trustees or the Library Director. 

Upon the determination of implementing this plan, all employees and contractors of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library shall be notified by phone and/or email, with details provided as possible and necessary, with additional information and updates provided on a regular basis. Other interested parties, such as vendors, will be notified by phone and/or email as necessary. The Board of Trustees and the Library Director will maintain communications with the public and constituents as needed throughout the implementation of this plan. 

The Board of Trustees and the Library Director of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library will maintain awareness of information, direction, and guidance from public health officials and the Governor’s office, directing the implementation of changes as necessary. 

Upon resolution of the public health emergency, the Board of Trustees and the Library Director of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library will direct the resumption of normal operations or operations with modifications as necessary. 

Essential Functions and Positions Considered Essential

Since libraries and librarians are not deemed essential workplaces/workers; there are no positions and titles considered essential at our workplace. 

Reducing Risk Through Remote Work and Staggered Shifts

Through assigning staff to work remotely, we can decrease crowding and density at work sites and on public transportation. 

Remote Work Protocols

During a pandemic, all non-essential employees (Library Director and Library Assistants) will work remotely from home.  Duties will include, but not limited to: doing online programming, taking library-related online training and webinars, attending online meetings (if applicable), maintaining activity logs recording their hours and duties performed, answering work emails, and updating the Library’s social media (Facebook, Instagram, and website).  

If non-essential employees do not have access to a computer at home, then they can borrow a staff laptop or iPad.  If they do not have wireless access, then employees can use the Library’s free Wi-Fi (name: scrpublic; no password required) located in the parking lot.  If they cannot travel to the Library for whatever reason, then the Director will find non-online duties for employees to perform while working remotely at home.  The Library Director will call into the Library’s work phone in order to hear messages from the answering machine and reply to them as needed.        

The Library Director and Library Assistants will communicate with each other via email and by phone.  

Staggered Shifts

As there are no essential employees at the Library, there will be no staggering of work shifts to reduce overcrowding.  All of the Library’s employees will be working remotely from home.  

Personal Protective Equipment

The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the spread of infectious disease is important to supporting the health and safety of our employees and contractors. PPE which may be needed includes:

  • Masks
  • Face shields
  • Gloves

Note that while cleaning supplies are not PPE, there is a related need for cleaning supplies used to sanitize surfaces, as well as hand soap and hand sanitizer. The Coronavirus pandemic demonstrated that supply chains were not able to keep up with increased demand for these products early in the pandemic. As such, we are including these supplies in this section as they are pertinent to protecting the health and safety of our employees and contractors. 

Although there are no essential employees at our workplace, the Library Director will purchase and store PPE to use when employees return to work inside the building.  The Library Director will purchase PPE (masks, gloves, face shields, etc.) either in the store or online if available.  In addition, the Library Director will purchase disinfecting spray, disinfecting wipes, hand soap, and hand sanitizer.  PPE will be stored in the Library’s storage room and the Library Director will monitor its usage.       

Staff Exposures and Cleaning and Disinfecting Disinfecting            

Staff Exposures 

Staff exposures are organized under several categories based upon the type of exposure and presence of symptoms. Following CDC guidelines, we have established the following protocols:

  1. If employees or contractors are exposed to a known case of communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency (defined as a ‘close contact’ with someone who is confirmed infected, which is a prolonged presence within six feet with that person):
    1. Potentially exposed employees or contractors who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for the lesser of 14 days or other current CDC/public health guidance for the communicable disease in question.
      1. As possible, these employees will be permitted to work remotely during this period of time if they are not ill. 
      2. The Library Board and Director must be notified and is responsible for ensuring these protocols are followed
      3. See the section titled Documentation of Work Hours and Locations for additional information on contact tracing
  2. If an employee or contractor exhibits symptoms of the communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency:
    1. Employees and contractors who exhibit symptoms in the workplace should be immediately separated from other employees, customers, and visitors. They should immediately be sent home with a recommendation to contact their physician. 
    2. Employees and contractors who exhibit symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home, with a recommendation to contact their physician. 
    3. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation per CDC/public health guidance and have consulted with a healthcare provider. 
    4. Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library will not require sick employees to provide a negative test result for the disease in question or healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or return to work; unless there is a recommendation from the CDC/public health officials to do so. 
    5. CDC criteria for COVID-19 provides that persons exhibiting symptoms may return to work if at least 24 hours have passed since the last instance of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. If the disease in question is other than COVID-19, CDC and other public guidance shall be referenced. 
    6. The Library Director must be informed in these circumstances and is responsible for ensuring these protocols are followed
  3. If an employee or contractor has tested positive for the communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency:
    1. Apply the steps identified in item B, above, as applicable.  
    2. Areas occupied for prolonged periods of time by the subject employee or contractor will be closed off. 
      1. CDC guidance for COVID-19 indicates that a period of 24 hours is ideally given before cleaning, disinfecting, and reoccupation of those spaces will take place. If this time period is not possible, a period of as long as possible will be given. CDC/public health guidance for the disease in question will be followed. 
      2. Any common areas entered, surfaces touched, or equipment used shall be cleaned and disinfected immediately. 
      3. See the section on Cleaning and Disinfection for additional information on that subject. 
  4. Identification of potential employee and contractor exposures will be conducted
    1. If an employee or contractor is confirmed to have the disease in question, the Library Director or their designee should inform all contacts of their possible exposure. Confidentiality shall be maintained as required by law.
    2. Apply the steps identified in item A, above, as applicable, for all potentially exposed personnel. 
  5. The Library Director must be notified in these circumstances and is responsible for ensuring these protocols are followed

We recognize there may be nuances or complexities associated with potential exposures, close contacts, symptomatic persons, and those testing positive. We will follow CDC/public health recommendations and requirements and coordinate with our local public health office for additional guidance and support as needed.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

CDC/public health guidelines will be followed for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces/areas.  Present guidance for routine cleaning during a public health emergency includes:

  1. As possible, employees and contractors will clean their own workspaces in the beginning, middle, and end of their shifts, at a minimum. 
    1. High traffic/high touch areas and areas which are accessible to the public/constituents will be disinfected frequently. 
    2. Library staff are responsible for cleaning common areas, and the frequency of such
  2. Staff tasked with cleaning and disinfecting areas will be issued and required to wear PPE appropriate to the task. 
  3. Surfaces will be disinfected with products that meet EPA criteria for use against the virus in question and which are appropriate for that surface.
  4. Staff will follow instructions of cleaning products to ensure safe and effective use of the products. 

Employee and Contractor Leave

Public health emergencies are extenuating and unanticipated circumstances in which Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library is committed to reducing the burden on our employees and contractors. 

Therefore, the Library has established the following policies:

Paid leave for employees during an emergency closure: 

Paid Leave During Emergency Closure Policy

Adopted by Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library Board of Trustees on March 17, 2020.

When the library temporarily closes due to a declared state of emergency, and all or some employees are instructed not to come in to work, upon a vote of the board, compensation shall continue as follows:

Full-time staff shall be paid at their regular rate of pay. Part-time staff shall be paid for their regularly scheduled shifts; for part-time staff with variable schedules, the weekly amount will be based on an average of the last three pay cycles, or as determined by the board. To be eligible for compensation during a time of emergency closure or reduced hours, employees must be ready, willing and able to work remotely on projects identified by library leadership during their regularly scheduled working hours and must complete such duties as assigned. When performing tasks remotely, employees should note the time worked through the usual process for logging hours.

Available leave for employees: 

Quarantine Leave Policy

Adopted by Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library Board of Trustees on March 17, 2020.

If a full or part-time employee who is not personally ill is required to remain absent because of quarantine imposed by a governing authority, or if during a declared emergency an employee determines to self-quarantine and such employee presents a written statement of the attending physician or local health officer proving the necessity of such absence, such employee shall be granted leave with pay for the period of the required absence. Such pay shall cover the employee’s routine hours (part-time hours will be based on an average of the most recent three pay periods, or as set by the board). Prior to return to duty, such employee may be required to submit a written statement, from the local health officer having jurisdiction, that return to duty will not jeopardize the health of other employees.  To be eligible for compensation during quarantine leave, employees must be ready, willing and able to work remotely on projects identified by library leadership during their regularly scheduled working hours and must complete such duties as assigned. When performing tasks remotely, employees should note the time worked through the usual process for logging hours.

Additional provisions may be enacted based upon need and the guidance and requirements in place by federal and state employment laws, New York State Paid Family Leave, executive orders, and other potential sources. 

Contractors, either independent or affiliated with a contracted firm, are not classified as employees of the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library, and as such are not provided with paid leave time by the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library, unless required by law. 

Documentation of Work Hours and Locations

In a public health emergency, it may be necessary to document work hours and locations of each employee and contractor to support contact tracing efforts.  This information may be used by the Annie Porter Ainsworth Memorial Library to support contact tracing within the organization and may be shared with local public health officials. 

Although we are not deemed essential workers, the Library Director will keep track of employees’ hours by having each employee fill out an online or print activity log every two weeks documenting their hours and duties performed.  The activity logs will be submitted through email or by phone if there is no access to the Internet.  The Library Director will then enter the hours online or by phone (if there is no computer access) to its payroll company, Onondaga Employee Leasing Agency at: 315-463-7838.    

Housing for Essential Employees

Even though the Library does not have essential employees, employees can contact the following local agencies to identify emergency housing or shelters:

  • Oswego Community Service Center (Salvation Army): 315-343-6491
  • Oswego County Department of Social Services: 315-963-5000
  • Oswego County Opportunities: 315-598-4717
  • Sandy Creek Fire Department: 315-387-5421/Lacona Fire Department: 315-387-5547 (to see if site(s) is designated as an emergency shelter)     
  • Sandy Creek Town Hall: 315-387-5456 (to see if site is designated as an emergency shelter)