About COVID-19

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Updated 8/25/2020 11:21 PM CT

On this page:  Find Your Area's Coronavirus Metrics  |  REALM Project (Battelle Study)  |  About Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19  |  Trustworthy Sources of Information  |  Library Organization COVID-19 Webpages

Find Your Area's Coronavirus Metrics

Illinois Regional Metrics*

Illinois County Metrics*

U.S. State & Global Case Rates

*Please select your metrics; page may default to another region or county

[INFOGRAPHICS] How Risky are Common Activities Curing the Pandemic?

icon of a surgical facemaskFrom dining outside and camping to going to school, to work, or to a concert, BJC Healthcare rates the risk levels of common activities both with and without most people wearing a mask. Read the article and get the infographics.



REALM Project (Battelle Study)

REALM Project: REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums

What is the REALM Project?

The REALM Project, which stands for REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums, is a research study investigating how long SARS-CoV-2, more commonly known as the coronavirus, can survive on materials common to libraries, archives, and museums (known as a natural attenuation study) and how these materials can best be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors. The REALM Project is conducted through a collaboration by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle research and development agency.

To learn more about the Project, visit the REALM Project website.

What does the research say?


Phase 1: Research on High-Priority Materials and Workflows


Test 1 Results published June 22, 2020

At standard temperature and humidity ranges, SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable on the following unstacked materials after 3 days:

  • Hardback book cover (buckram cloth)
  • Softback book cover
  • Plain paper pages inside a closed book
  • Plastic book covering (biaxially oriented polyester film)
  • DVD case (polypropylene)


Test 2 Results published July 20, 2020

At standard temperature and humidity ranges:

SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable on the following stacked materials after 2 days:

  • Archival folders

SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable on the following stacked materials after 4 days:

  • Braille paper pages
  • Glossy paper pages from a coffee table book
  • Children's board book

SARS-CoV-2 was detectable on the following stacked materials after 4 days (the final point tested):

    • Magazine pages


    Phase 2: Additional Research to Support Operations of Libraries, Archives, and Museums


    Test 3 Results published Aug. 18, 2020

    SARS-CoV-2 was not detectable on the following unstacked materials after 5 days:

    • Storage bag, flexible plastic (low-density polyethylene (LDPE), recycling #4)
    • DVD (polycarbonate)

    SARS-CoV-2 was detectable on the following unstacked materials after 5 days (the final point tested):

    • Storage container, rigid plastic (high-density polyethylene (HDPE), recycling #2
    • Plexiglass (acrylic)
    • Talking book, USB cassette (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), specific blend)


    Test 4 - started July 31, 2020


    Test 5 - not yet started

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    About Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19

    From the Centers for Disease Control website:

    "CDC is responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease spreading from person-to-person caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The disease has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). This situation poses a serious public health risk. The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this situation. COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness; most severe illness occurs in adults 65 years and older." (CDC)

    "There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused b[y] a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans." (CDC)

    "A pandemic is a global outbreak of disease. Pandemics happen when a new virus emerges to infect people and can spread between people sustainably. Because there is little to no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide." (CDC)

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    Trustworthy Sources of Information

    It is important to share only reliable sources of information and not to perpetuate fake news. The following are some trustworthy sources of information:

    State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response - This state-led website will provide the latest news releases related to coronavirus, video archives of press conferences, and tips from leading experts to keep you and your family safe. It also features a county map of COVID-19 cases.

    Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) - Within the state, IDPH and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) are a reliable first stop for information. ​IDPH Resources of Note: 

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Nationally, the CDC is charged with monitoring the outbreak and routinely issues bulletins with updated information regarding COVID-19. ​CDC Resources of Note:

    Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) - OSHA provides guidelines for the prevention and control of the virus in a variety of workplace situations. This is especially useful regarding workplace cleaning measures.

    Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center Interactive Heat Map

    Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 U.S. State-by-State Projections - includes interactive graphs of projected use and capacity of hospital beds, ICU rooms, and invasive ventilators

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    Library Organization COVID-19 Webpages

    Illinois Heartland Library System: COVID-19 Updates and Resources

    American Association of School Librarians: Pandemic Resources for School Librarians - Access free resources via the AASL Learning Library, free vendor resources for online instruction/activities, and more​
    American Library Association: Pandemic Preparedness Resources for Libraries webpage and ​ALA 3/13/20 Statement on COVID-19

    Illinois Library Association: Corona Virus Resources webpage

    Illinois State Library: 3/6/20 Letter to Public Library Directors

    Reaching Across Illinois Library System: 2019 Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) webpage

    U.S. Department of Education: COVID-19 Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel - Featuring educator-centric administrative resources plus learning resources that can be used by educators including parents/guardians 

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    DISCLAIMER: Illinois Heartland Library System does not offer medical or legal advice. Please check with your medical or legal professional before making any health or law-related decisions.

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