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Arbutus library branch closed after employee tests positive for coronavirus

The Arbutus branch of Baltimore County Public Library is closed until Nov. 17 after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Curbside pickup services and computer appointments inside the building will be suspended until Tuesday, the library said in a news release. The Owings Mills branch also is closed until Nov. 19 after a staff member tested positive for the novel virus there, the library announced last week.

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Book drops at the branches remain open. The library is working with the county Department of Health to contact those who may have been exposed.

The library system also closed the Towson and Essex branches last week when staff members were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, the disease the virus causes.

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The closures come amid a record-breaking spike in coronavirus cases in Maryland, a surge in hospitalizations and a return to more restrictive measures in Baltimore County.

The state’s seven-day positivity rate was 5.87% on Friday, up from 5.65% Thursday and from 3% Oct. 22.

On Friday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. announced the county will follow the state’s lead in reinstating certain restrictions. The county will limit the size of gatherings, require bars and restaurants to close early, and shut down all organized recreational youth sports.

Library locations are being sanitized during the closures, and staff will continue to telework through the library’s virtual Ask a Librarian and My Librarian services.

Branches have been closed for public browsing since mid-March.

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