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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a Press Release on May 5, 2023 stating, “May 11, 2023, marks the end of the federal COVID-19 PHE (Public Health Emergency) declaration.” Read the full Press Release here.

This news coincides with the World Health Organization’s statement from the WHO Director General. “He determines that COVID-19 is now an established and ongoing health issue which no longer constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.” Read the full statement here

Learn more in this Fact Sheet: End of the Public Health Emergency put out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week.

These official changes will not impact our library operations. However, it does provide an opportunity to reflect on the many ways our library staff have adapted and innovated over the last three years of the pandemic to offer and expand services to the communities of NCW.

When the world shut down three years ago, we shifted gears. When our physical spaces were closed for a time and our staff quarantined at home, we strengthened and greatly expanded our online resources while working from our kitchen tables and home offices. When it was safe to do so, we restarted our Mail Order Library and then instituted curbside pickup. 

Then, with appropriate health protocols in place, we eventually re-opened our doors and welcomed our communities back into our library spaces. 

Our hardworking staff rose to the challenge every step of the way, creatively figuring out ways to offer services that fit a variety of comfort levels with a mix of virtual, outdoor and indoor programs and services. 

We are so grateful for the staff, patrons and the communities of NCW. Thank you for your patience, flexibilty, willingness to change and try new things, and your resilience. We’ve learned much about ourselves and each other over the last three years. And we believe it has made us a stronger organization and a more connected community partner.

Our ability to adapt to the sometimes rapidly changing world around us is something NCW Libraries is committed to continuing into the future. 

Additional Resources:

Washington State Department of Health – Find general information, testing locations, vaccine location & verification, and more.

Chelan-Douglas Health District – Find snapshots of statewide and county level COVID-19 Information.

Grant County Health District

Northeast Tri County Health District – Find vaccine and testing location information for residents in Ferry, Pend Oreille, and Stevens County.

Okanogan County Public Health District


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