On July 21, 2020, scientists at Battelle Labs released the results of Test 2of the REALM Project. Library materials tested included Braille paper pages, glossy book pages, magazine pages, children’s board books, and archival folders, in varying environmental conditions. While most of these results came back acceptable under current recommended quarantine practices, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 showed a trace amount of virus at four days on certain materials. In light of these results, DPI and the system directors have determined that the recommended quarantine time for library materials be increased to four days.
We realize that an increase in quarantine time may be burdensome to many libraries; this decision was not made lightly. Because the public library is an institution that people trust, honoring that trust by being cautious with protocols involving public safety, particularly when the science supports doing so, is of utmost importance.
We continue to encourage libraries to communicate with their public library systems to make sure they are consistent with regional quarantine practices. For more information, please see the Wisconsin Public Libraries Reopening Guide and the COVID-19 page for Wisconsin public libraries.
Submitted by the Library Team, Division for Libraries & Technology