We’re getting a lot of questions about the coronavirus, and as librarians, it’s our job to find you reliable answers! So we have compiled some essential information to help you make informed decisions about your health. Visit our informational resource page here.

What is COVID-19, or novel coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus is a flu-like respiratory illness. While there are many types of human coronaviruses, COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

Trusted information sources
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services maintains an information page with up-to-date details on the outbreak, the current risk to the public, and links to helpful resources.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has set up a website with a range of information about the current risk to the public, symptoms to watch for, prevention, testing, and advice for schools, communities, and businesses.

What can you do now to stay healthy?
At this point, the risk to the general American public is still low. But to prevent any possible spread of the virus, people are being asked to:

  • 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.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC recommends that all people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Should I still visit my library?
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies advise that you stay home. We invite you to explore everything we have to offer on our website. You can download ebooks and audiobooks on Libby, stream movies and music and check out ebooks and audiobooks on Hoopla, or browse magazines on RB Digital.

We at Chippewa River District Library System want you to know that we are taking your health seriously. Our staff are monitoring local health department websites daily and will respond swiftly and appropriately if the public threat reaches the communities that we serve.