Public services change in wake of COVID-19

Hospital opens drive-up testing, library shifts focus to online resources

Library+Director+Joanna+Bailey+says+the+library+will+be+able+to+sign+people+up+for+library+cards+over+the+phone+and+all+online+resources+remain+available.

JOSEPH GARDNER | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Library Director Joanna Bailey says the library will be able to sign people up for library cards over the phone and all online resources remain available.

Many public organizations in Pullman changed how they operate in the wake of multiple positive COVID-19 cases in the county.

Neill Public Library

Joanna Bailey, Neill Public Library director, said the library building is closed to the public and all online services remain available. People can also register for a new library card over the phone.

Patrons may continue checking out books with a delivery service through Pullman’s Dial-A-Ride, which Bailey said has delivered about 668 items to more than 127 patrons.

“It has really given [patrons] some semblance of normalcy,” she said. “When their entire world is turned upside down.”

Bailey said the library will not charge any late fees for items checked out during the shutdown and all items will be automatically renewed. She said she encourages people to keep their items at home.

Children’s storytimes moved online as well. Bailey said video recordings of Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson reading books are available on the City of Pullman YouTube channel and the library website. 

Another online resource through the library is lynda.com, Bailey said. This website offers courses on a variety of subjects such as photography, business, design and software development.  

“This is a great time for folks to kind of tap into their bucket list, and use library resources to accomplish that,” she said.

Bailey said libraries adapt all the time but changing in the face of a pandemic is entirely different.

“During times of crisis, you really see the mettle of a person,” Bailey said, “and I can say that we have really amazing staff working hard for their community.”

Pullman Regional Hospital

Megan Guido, Pullman Regional Hospital chief marketing and community relations officer, said the hospital will still provide the same healthcare services it normally does with a few changes.

Guido said the hospital set up a COVID-19 testing center behind the main building on Monday. People can drive up and get screened for the disease and people may be tested depending on their symptoms.

The drive-up screening service is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, she said. Twenty people were screened yesterday and not all of them were tested.

People are also not allowed to visit others in the hospital, Guido said. All areas where people could congregate are closed, including the Red Sage Café. 

“We’re really stressing the importance of social distancing, and the need to take that seriously,” she said.

Elective surgeries have been stopped to comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s mandate to conserve hospital equipment for COVID-19 healthcare workers, she said. Elective surgeries are chosen by the patient and are not urgent or life-threatening.

The hospital will still deliver babies but no more than two people can be in the room with the laboring mother, Guido said. 

Pullman Post Office

A representative of the Pullman Post Office said the office is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for protecting against COVID-19.

The office is maintaining its usual hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and staying closed on Sundays.

Among the CDC recommendations for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing, or staying at least 6 feet away from people, thorough hand-washing and staying home when people are sick.

Updates on U.S. Postal Service disruptions can be found at usps.com.