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Glenwood Branch library in Howard County temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19

An employee at the Glenwood Branch library in Western Howard County tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, and the library will be closed until Tuesday, according to a Howard County Library System news release.

The library system’s other five locations will remain open, and the Howard County Department of Health is performing contact tracing. According to the release, no library users have been reported as exposed.

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“[The Howard County Library System] is taking measures to ensure the safety of our team, including wearing masks at all times, maintaining physical distancing and washing hands frequently,” the release states. “Customers should not be at risk as staff wear masks while handling materials.”

Residents who had contactless pickup appointments at the Glenwood Branch can pick up their items on Jan. 20 without rescheduling.

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The positive COVID-19 test is the latest hurdle for the library system during the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the library system closed its six branches, which led to massive book drop complications, as residents were returning borrowed books to libraries despite no staff being in the buildings to service the returns.

The system then faced budgetary issues caused by the pandemic, and all 243 staff members took a one-week furlough over the summer to save about $250,000.

Libraries opened for contactless pickup in late June and have been operating solely that way since. Residents can place books and other items on hold online or over the phone and get notified when the materials are ready for pickup. When customers arrive, the books will be in a bag waiting for them in the lobby, and no contact with the library staff or other customers should occur.

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