The Columbus Metropolitan Library is closing all of its locations at 6 p.m. Friday due to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The closures are scheduled at least through April 6.
The library said that it was closing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus among its customers, staff and the larger community.
"This decision was not made lightly," library CEO Patrick Losinski said in a statement. "The scientific evidence that early social distancing can help stop the spread of the coronavirus is a compelling factor in taking this precautionary step on behalf of our customers, staff and the community during this pandemic."
Earlier this week, the library took the step of canceling all classes, programs, meetings and events at its branches through at least March 31.
During the shutdown, digital library resources including eBooks, eAudiobooks, magazines, movies and music as well as research and learning tools will remain available through the library's website.
The Ohio Department of Health makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Ohio's coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634.