It has been almost a year since our community received the first warnings about the potential severity of Covid 19 and the possibility of a worldwide pandemic. Monitoring this dire news, the Biblioteca was one of the very first facilities in San Miguel to make proactive decisions to protect our employees and visitors by closing temporarily on March 16. These protocols were reinforced when the health authorities published the norms to be applied in a number of facilities and ordered the closure of schools, parks, sports arenas and other public spaces.
During the closure, the Biblioteca staff studied the recommendations and requirements of Protection Civil and then implemented all of the required protocols.
The Biblioteca remained closed until October after receiving authorization to reopen from Protection Civil who carefully examined the preventive measures set up by our staff.
In San Miguel, as well as other places around the world, the holiday season brought together families and friends despite the warning about large gatherings and the number of infections increased dramatically shortly thereafter.
Thankfully, management and staff had developed, following guidelines from the authorities, a procedure by which all health symptoms were immediately reported and the protocol to handle potential Covid cases was immediately activated. Employees are required to stay home until tested and declared free of infection.
Over this long year we have had a few employees go on medical leave and return to work after being cleared and recently 3 members of our staff and an outside construction worker have been told to stay home until they get cleared to come back to work.
The procedure we have been following since the start of the pandemic is simple in its concept and strict in its application and has permitted us to obtain certification from the municipal government :
– Training for all personnel on how to proceed internally and externally to avoid contagion according to the specifications of the WHO, PAHO and SSA.
– Establishment of evident protocols for employee access, cleaning of areas and acquisition of personal protective equipment.
– Emerging salary support plan for all staff to avoid staff reductions and / or layoffs due to the pandemic.
– Plan of activities for the maintenance of spaces and improvement of areas before reopening to the public
– Monitoring and documenting each employee’s state of health and reaction to the impact of the crisis on their emotional and social lives.
– Development of new updated protocols
– Staff training with official courses and workshops
– Special health and civil protection requirements
As we are also all painfully aware, extreme vigilance is a must at all times and everywhere. Unfortunately, not all places of activity can be protected and there is a risk of exposure to the virus in the street, on public transport, in social environments, in markets, and even hospitals.
We all still have a long way to go before we can return to our normal lives and all of us have a duty to remain careful and join the community effort to protect our families, colleagues, neighbors, and even the strangers we see in the streets of our town