Library Encourages Public to Stay Informed, Practice Prevention Measures During Virus Concerns

Posted By:  Tina Walker Davis
Date Posted:  3/2/2020

UPDATE:  In light of recent developments, and the governor’s call to limit public gatherings, Deschutes Public Library is suspending all programming and outreach activities, and cancelling public meeting room reservations, as of Friday, March 13.  The library plans to resume programming and outreach on April 13, but will reassess the status of public health and safety at that time. Programming includes all classes, lectures, story times, and workshops. Library outreach to schools, day care centers and senior living communities is suspended until Monday, April 13. Find more information here.

Please visit the Deschutes County Health Services website for further updates from the county. The library will provide regular updates regarding health and safety measures to be taken.

A viral outbreak is always a public health concern, and Deschutes Pubic Library—like other public agencies and health care providers in Deschutes County—is monitoring recent cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Though no cases have been reported in Deschutes County, the library encourages staff and customers to be aware of prevention measures and to use common sense when gathering in public places.

“The libraries in Deschutes County are taking measures to ensure our spaces are cleaned thoroughly every day by both staff and regular janitorial services,” said library director Todd Dunkelberg. “Deschutes Public Library will continue monitoring the evolving nature of the virus, and will continue working with staff and customers to ensure that proper safety measures are followed.”

Every Deschutes Public Library location has alcohol-based hand sanitizer available for use, and restrooms provide warm water and soap for hand washing. It is recommended that customers wash or sanitize their hands before using public computers, check-out kiosks or restrooms, as well as before handling materials and other public surfaces such as door knobs. The library also recommends that people wash or sanitize their hands again after all such interactions.

“As a library we’re here to provide information for our customers about measures that will help prevent the spread of disease and viruses,” said Dunkelberg. “We encourage residents of Deschutes County to stay calm and seek information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Oregon Health Authority and Deschutes County Health Department.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that coronaviruses do not survive well on surfaces, but are spread most often by small droplets of mucus from the nose and throat. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is why diligent hand washing and sanitizing are so important. However, in addition to fastidious hand washing, the CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask, as the supply of facemasks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings. The agency recommends facemasks be worn by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent its spread.

To help keep the public informed, the library gathered current information from the Oregon Health Authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH), the World Health Organization (WHO), AsapSCIENCE and New York Times journalists, as well as non-fiction books on past global epidemics and viruses. You'll find the informative list here.

For additional health and safety information, visit:



Page Last Modified Wednesday, March 8, 2023