NERL and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Keeping You Safe Is Our Priority

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on self isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19.
According to the new guidelines, people who are symptomatic with COVID-19 should isolate at home for 10 days after symptoms begin, and for 24 hours after your fever has broken.
“A limited number of persons with severe illness” or who are severely immunocompromised, may need to isolate for 20 days after symptom onset, the agency said.
Asymptomatic patients should isolate for 10 days from the date of the first positive test.
The new guidelines were previewed last week, when officials said CDC would recommend people do not need to have two negative tests in order to end isolation, which was the previous standard.
The update comes as the U.S. testing system is strained to the brink due to the rampant surges of coronavirus cases in dozens of states across the country. Results can take as long as two weeks to return, which makes the tests effectively useless.

Like all Mississipians, we are facing the challenges of a quickly changing landscape in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As always, the health and safety of our patrons and staff is our priority. We are in constant communication with other city departments, local officials and health authorities.

Following Governor Reeve’s directive and out of an abundance of caution, we want to share the steps the library is taking to protect the health and safety of our patrons and staff while still providing essential library services:

  • Following guidelines limiting the number of people in public buildings, we have closed all 13 branch libraries through March 31.
  • During this time no late fines will be assessed for overdue items, and patrons can return materials when libraries reopen.
  • Of course our many digital services remain available 24/7 at including e-books and audiobooks, and digital subscriptions to magazines. Check the website menu under Digital Resources.
  • We created and will continue to update this resource page with information about the COVID-19 virus and how to keep you and your loved ones safe.

You can stay updated on the library here on our website and following our social media accounts.

Once again, your health and safety is of utmost importance, and we will evaluate and adjust as new information becomes available. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and we thank you for your continued understanding and support.

UPDATE: 5/06/20

While we don’t currently have a date that we will be open to the public yet, we are busy putting plans into effect to make our libraries as safe as possible for our patrons and employees when that day arrives.

UPDATE: 3/30/20:

With more of our local communities issuing “shelter in place” guidelines as well as closing all non-essential businesses, all branches of NERL will be closed until at least April 20.

UPDATE: 3/20/20:

In order to allow better access to e-books, e-audios and e-magazines through our partnerships with Hoopla and R&B Digital (One Click Digital), NERL is allowing members of our communities who need library cards to receive a library card number via email.  Please send your name, mailing address and phone number to for assistance.

If you currently have a library card and are experiencing technical difficulties accessing our digital materials, please email for assistance

UPDATE: 3/19/20:

The 13 branches of the Northeast Regional Library System will remain closed through March 31, 2020.  A tentative reopening is planned for April 1, 2020.

All story times, meetings, lectures, programs, events or use of branches’ public meeting rooms are cancelled until April 30, 2020.  This date may also be extended.  As a result, reservations will not be taken for use of branch meeting rooms until further notice.

UPDATE: 3/16/20:

In response to COVID-19, the Northeast Regional Library System has closed its 13 branches until further notice. The NERL Director and Board of Trustees feel this action is necessary to help preserve the best interest of our communities, as well as our staff.

Staff will be updating the NERL website, as well as our branches’ Facebook accounts, as this situation continues to develop.

We apologize for the inconvenience this action causes but feel that our patrons’ and staff’s health are of upmost importance.

While our branches are closed, materials currently checked out will not accrue late fees. We encourage our patrons to take advantage of our digital offerings: e-books, e-audios and e-magazines through Hoopla and RB Digital, as well as the educational resources found in the MAGNOLIA databases and Learning Express Library. These free resources can be found on the library’s website at

Be Informed: COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

COVID-19 Symptoms

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Steps to Prevent Illness

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.


Know the Facts

  • Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity.
  • People who have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or people who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread are at an increased risk of exposure.
  • Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people.
  • You can help stop COVID-19 by knowing the signs and symptoms: fever, cough, shortness of breath.
  • There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

Source: CDC

Be Proactive

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Source: CDC