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Kokomo Howard County Public Library will be opening back up to the public next week after being closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a safety precaution plexiglass has been added around all of the desks, including circulation.

Kokomo-Howard County Public Library and the Kokomo Family YMCA will reopen, with restrictions, starting next week.

The YMCA opens Monday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., as a part of their regular Memorial Day holiday hours. Regular operating hours will resume on Tuesday, according to a post on the YMCA’s Facebook page.

Reopening procedures will roll out in three phases. Phase one is May 25 – June 13, phase two is June 13 – July 4 and phase three begins July 5.

Director of Marketing and Communications Tony Budenz said the staff at the YMCA began planning for reopening procedures in the first week of closure.

“We’ve been working really diligently to set up this plan,” he said. “We know how excited our members were to return, and we’re excited to open back up and keep them, and our staff, safe.”

According to the YMCA reopening plan, phase one member protection includes:

  • Complete a waiver and screening questionnaire.
  • Must adhere to all posted signage.
  • Must wash or sanitize their hands upon entry and before and after workouts.
  • Member traffic will be monitored
  • Group exercise classes and capacity will be limited and practice six-foot physical distancing protocols
  • Staff will wear face coverings with the exception of group ex instructors and lifeguards.
  • Members will utilize a reservation system

The reservation system requires members to sign-up to swim or join an exercise class at least 24 hours in advance, Budenz said. This will allow for proper social distancing and planning

More information on the reopening procedures and phases two and three can be found at

Kokomo Howard-County Public Library reopens Tuesday

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (KHCPL) will reopen starting on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. KHCPL Russiaville will be closed on Wednesdays, according to a press release.

“Due to COVID-19, the world’s changed since we last saw each other, and to keep you, the community, and KHPCL staff safe, we’ve made some changes. When you step inside any of our locations, look around and you’ll see the changes,” Director of Marketing Lisa Fipps said in the press release.

The press release urged patrons to think of three words when they visit, “grab and go.” Items should be selected quickly, print and fax jobs can be submitted ahead of time online and visitors are encouraged to make trips to the library brief.

Computer use will be limited, with fewer computers available to adhere to social distancing guidelines, according to the release. Patrons can use the computer for up to an hour, once per day. Sessions will not be extended.

Some seating has been removed and spaced further apart, and seating that is harder to clean has been temporarily removed, according to the release.

Staff will be wearing masks and patrons are encouraged to do so as well. Depending on availability, hand sanitizer will be available throughout all facilities. High touch surfaces will be cleaned several times a day and select materials will be sanitized. Returned items will be quarantined for 24 hours before returning to the shelf.

“To keep everyone safe, we need your help, and we’re doing our part. If you have any symptom of any illness, please delay your visit until you are symptom-free. Likewise, KHCPL check themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms, including taking their temperatures, and, if they have any, self-quarantine at home,” according to the press release.

Visit for more information.

Laura Arwood can be reached at 765-454-8580, laura.arwood@kokomotribune or on Twitter @LauraArwood.

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