Discontinuing Quarantine of Library Items
Starting on Monday, February 8th, MacEwan Library will stop quarantining library items. This decision is based on the latest scientific evidence that shows the risk of COVID transmission through inanimate objects such as library items is very low.
At the start of the pandemic, we decided to quarantine library items because there was little information about how the virus could spread on materials like paper and plastic. There is no provincial mandate to quarantine library items currently. Updated information from the scientific community has informed our decision to stop quarantining items. Many other libraries across the province are making the same decision.
Onsite staff are still following the University’s health and safety protocols including regular hand washing, wearing masks, and physical distancing.
If you are interested in learning more about how COVID has a low risk of transmission on surfaces, we recommend reading the following scientific reports and news articles:
- BC Centre for Disease Control (n.d.). Libraries. http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/community-settings/libraries
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). How COVID-19 Spreads. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html
- Goldman, E. (2020). Exaggerated risk of transmission of COVID-19 by fomites. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 20(8), 892-892. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30561-2
- Lewis, D. (2021, January 29). COVID-19 rarely spreads through surfaces. So why are we still deep cleaning? Nature, 590, 26-28. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-021-00251-4
- Mondelli, M. U., Colaneri, M., Seminari, E.M., Baldanti, F. & Bruno, R. (2020). Low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission by fomites in real-life conditions. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30678-2
- Thompson, D. (2020, July 27). Hygiene Theatre Is a Huge Waste of Time. The Atlantic. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/07/scourge-hygiene-theater/614599/
For more information about Library service changes due to COVID, please see our COVID Updates page.