Edith Wheeler Memorial Library expands hours as COVID case rate drops

Edith Wheeler Memorial Library is at 733 Monroe Turnpike.

MONROE, CT — Edith Wheeler Memorial Library will expand its hours by 20-percent, staying open longer on evenings and Saturdays. The new schedule goes into effect this Monday.

“Of course, please remember that social distancing and mask requirements remain, regardless of vaccination status,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said in his COVID-19 update Friday.

The new hours are Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the library will be closed on Sundays.

Onsite services include 20-minute browsing, 45-minute adult computer use, faxing, self-service printing, scanning, and reference services.

For those who prefer not to enter the building, curbside service is still available and Patio Books offer some of the library’s newest titles to be checked out from carts that sit outdoors in nice weather and in the foyer in bad weather.

“We have significantly increased the availability of downloadable books on our Libby App,” said Library Director Lorna Rhyins. “Funding we raised for the Friends of the Library during Fairfield County Giving Day has allowed us to purchase a special collection of cost-per-checkout downloadables that can be checked out immediately with no holds.”

A robust selection of programs remains online for the time being, but staff is looking forward to holding some events outdoors as the weather gets nicer, Rhyins said, adding tables and chairs will be placed on the lawn during open hours in clement weather for patrons to access the library’s wifi services.

Monroe’s COVID case rate dips

The first selectman said Monroe’s two-week rolling case rate has gone down slightly, now averaging approximately five-and-a-half new cases per day.

“Our two-week case rate remains at 28.6 cases per 100,000 population,” Kellogg said in his update. “As of yesterday’s report, Monroe has had 1,324 cases and 14 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.”

Over 56 percent of Monroe’s population has received at least one vaccination, compared to just under 49 percent for the state.

“Monroe’s weekly vaccination clinics continue, and there are currently appointments available in VAMS for our Moderna clinic on Wednesday, April 21, at St. Jude School,” Kellogg said.

Town residents who are homebound, meaning physically or medically unable to leave their home, may call the Monroe Senior Center at 203-452-2815 for assistance in registering for the homebound mobile vaccination service.

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