CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library has temporarily closed its doors to the public and gone back to curbside pickup of reserved materials effective Jan. 11.
The action was taken due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Saratoga County.
A Dec. 30 announcement said the library, 475 Moe, Road, Clifton Park, had updated its Cluster Guidance Plan due to the number positive cases in the area increasing “at an alarming rate.” The library closed its doors to the public from Jan. 6 to Jan. 11 to sanitize and prepare for the temporary change to its lending process.
According to the updated plan, if the 14 day rolling average positivity rate of COVID-19 testing in the county is greater than six percent for 10 consecutive days the library will revert to Stage 2 of the Library Services Reopening Plan.
The plan notes that with Stage 2 the building is closed to the public, curbside and remote services are available only, the book drop remains open, telephone reference and circulation support continues and staff remains working in the building as scheduled.
The plan would go into effect also if Saratoga County were to be declared an Orange Zone as defined by the New York State Cluster Action Initiative.
Stage 1 of the plan (or a designation as a Red Zone) would close the building and stop curbside pickup leaving remote services as the only recourse for new materials.
The Dec. 30 announcement from library Director Alexandra Gutelius said the library has met the positive rate metrics already. Because of the increase to the metrics, Gutelius said public computes, public seating and newspapers had been removed as of the day of the announcement.
As of Tuesday the county had a 10.8 percent seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate.
“We hope you understand that these decisions are made with the health and safety of the community and our employees first and foremost, and we hope to be able to begin adding services back as the positivity rate drops in our area,” she wrote.
In a request for additional comment, Gutelius said in an email late Monday, “We have chosen to close the library and provide curbside pickup and remote services only due to the rising cases of COVID in the community. The health and safety of employees and patrons is our priority.”
The new service hours in effect will offer telephone and email reference 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Curbside service will be offered 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and noon to 2 p.m. Saturday.