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COVID-19 Updates

Face Coverings

Do I have to wear a mask inside the library?

Yes. According to the UW Face Coverings policy, face coverings are required to be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status, when other people are present and in all public and common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators, and in shared vehicles.

I forgot my mask. Where can I get one?

A mask dispenser is located at the entrance to the library. Mask are also available at the Questions? Ask Here! station located in the lobby of the Campus Library.

Can I remove my mask in a study room?

No. Whether in a group or alone in a study room masks are required to be worn. Study rooms are considered public spaces within the building. Study rooms are also highly popular and often with back-to-back reservations. There is not enough time between reservations for the air to properly circulate. For the safety of all library users, masks are required to be worn in study rooms.

Can I remove my mask if I am alone in a study room?

No. Study rooms are still considered public spaces within the Campus Library building and masks are required even if you are alone in the room. Study rooms are also highly popular and often with back-to-back reservations. There is not enough time between reservations for the air to properly circulate. For the safety of all library users, masks are required to be worn in study rooms.

What type of mask should I wear?

A face covering will protect you and others, and meets state requirements when it:

  • Fits snugly against the sides of the face
  • Completely covers the nose and mouth
  • Can be secured with ties, ear loops, elastic bands or other equally effective method
  • Has at least two layers of material
  • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask (recommended)
  • Allows you to breathe without restriction
  • Is capable of being laundered (if made of cloth)
  • Is free of holes, tears or valves that could release droplets

The following types do not provide adequate protection and do not meet state requirements:

  • Bandanas
  • Neck gators
  • Face coverings with holes, tears or openings
  • Respirator with an exhalation valve
  • Face shield (when a facemask is not also worn)

A mask dispenser is available at the entrance to the library building. For more information on choosing and wearing masks properly, please review the Facemasks Focus Sheet.

Food and Beverages

Can I eat in the library? Can I eat in the study rooms?

No. We know this change in our policy is frustrating and inconvenient. It's frustrating for us too.

Based on guidance from Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), the Campus Library building and study rooms are not designated eating spaces.

When face coverings are removed for eating and drinking an individual will release more respiratory droplets and small particles (aerosols) while chewing, breathing, laughing, and speaking. If a person is infected with COVID-19, the respiratory droplets and aerosols they exhale can contain the SARS-CoV-2 virus which have the potential to expose others.

Because of this, EHS has created designated eating spaces on campus that are specially equipped with air purifiers, increased airflow, tables spaced to encourage distancing, and enhanced cleaning to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus while individuals are unmasked and eating.

Although Facilities has increased airflow throughout the building and study rooms, the Campus Library is not a designated eating space and the building lacks these additional safety measures.

The closest designated eating space is the North Creek Events Center.

We appreciate your help in maintaining a safe studying and working environment for all by wearing a mask and refraining from eating while in the Campus Library and study rooms.

Can I drink in the library?

Yes and no. To help support the face covering requirement, adjusting your mask for a few seconds to sip a beverage is allowed. Removing your mask for an extended amount of time to leisurely drink a beverage is not allowed.

Where are the designated eating spaces located on campus?

Weekdays
  • The North Creek Events Center
  • CC1 - room number CC1-041
  • CC1/CC2 - Stopwatch Espresso
  • CC3 - room number CC3-121
  • CC3 - GLA_CC3 Patio
  • UW1 (Founder's Hall) - lower level vista, second floor vista, third floor vista
  • UW2 (Commons Hall) - Common Grounds
  • UW3 (Discovery Hall) - fourth floor west end breakout space
  • UWBB (Beardslee Building) - room number UWBB-201
Weekends
  • The North Creek Events Center
    • Saturday: 9am to 5pm
    • Sunday: 12pm to 8pm
  • UWBB (Beardslee Building) - room number UWBB-201

What is expected of me in designated eating spaces?

To miniminze the potential of COVID-19 transmission, please review the UW's Eating and Drinking Guidance.

COVID-19 symptoms

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 may include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, chills, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. 

If you have any of these symptoms, stay home and get tested - even if you are vaccinated.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

If you are sick with any potential illness, you must stay home, regardless of your vaccination status.

Follow the UW guidance for what to do if you feel sick and how to get tested for COVID-19.

Consult the COVID-19 Flowchart to know when to report illness and close contact exposure, when to get tested, and when to stay home.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Is hand sanitizer available?

Yes. Several hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Campus Library buiding. Hand sanitizer is also available along the public services desk and in the Information Commons on the first floor of the library to use before or after interactions with library staff, printing, and using computers.

Will the study rooms be cleaned between reservations?

Cleaning supplies will be supplied in public spaces throughout the Campus Library building. Students and visitors are welcome to use these supplies to clean surfaces in the study rooms before and/or after use.

Facilities staff will continue daily cleaning of library spaces, including study rooms, and add increased frequency of cleaning high touch points.

Will study tables and carrels be cleaned between uses?

Cleaning supplies will be supplied in public spaces throughout the Campus Library building. Students and visitors are welcome to use these supplies to clean study table and carrel surfaces before and/or after use.

Facilities staff will continue daily cleaning of library spaces, including study tables and carrels, and add increased frequency of cleaning high touch points

What are high touch points?

High touch surfaces can include tables, handrails, faucets, doorknobs, light switches, kitchen appliances, drinking fountains, and shared equipment and computer workstations.

The Library Building

Can I open a window in the library to increase airflow?

No. The Campus Library building does not have windows that open. However, building airflow has been adjusted to allow for the maximum amount of outside airflow.

Are the air dryers in the restrooms safe to use?

Air dryers in the restroom are safe to use, and all three UW campuses have been authorized to keep the hand dryers in place. The CDC recommends that after hands are washed with soap and water that they be dried thoroughly with an approved drying method, which includes paper towels or hand blowers. Please visit the CDC website for more information.