BYU library revamps COVID-19 safety guidelines

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The Harold B. Lee Library is implementing Healthy Together daily passport checks at every entrance and reminding students to wear their masks with more signs.

This comes after the library closed its reading room due to “non-compliance with the campus mask policy,” a December tweet read. Now students who enter have to show a daily passport in Utah’s Healthy Together app as proof they are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

On Jan. 11, the library announced the reading room is back open for students to study in, while the learning commons study area is closed due to construction. Building access is limited to BYU students and staff this semester.

President Kevin J Worthen poses for a photo with library staff. The library now requires students and faculty to show their Healthy Together daily passport upon entering. (Veronica Maciel)

President Kevin J Worthen visited the library on Tuesday, Jan. 12 to help promote compliance with the new rules and guidelines.

“Thank you to all the students for being compliant with the new rules and to the student workers for doing such a great job,” President Worthen said in response to changes in the library.

According to BYU’s COVID-19 updates, “in order to come to campus and access campus services, BYU students and employees are required to download and use the Healthy Together App or complete a daily checkup online or use a blank form.”

BYU connected with the Healthy Together app to help students assess COVID-19 symptoms, find testing sites and view test results.

A new sign outside the Harold B. Lee Library shows requirements for entering the building. These signs are in place to help promote compliance with the changes and help students connect their Healthy Together app with BYU. (Roger Layton)

Both signs outside the library and student employees have instructions on how to connect the Healthy Together app to BYU’s daily passport. The passport allows the student employees to see who is allowed in the library with a glance at student and faculty phones.

Hailee Dyer and Emily Smith are two of the employees hired by the Office of Student Success and Inclusion to check the Healthy Together passports as students and faculty enter the library and remind them to wear their masks.

“Right now we’re not turning away people if they don’t have the big green checkmark,” Dyer said. “We’re just educating everyone because this is the first semester this is being implemented.”

Smith and Dyer both agree that students having the Healthy Together daily passport ready before they enter will help smooth the flow into the library. “In between classes it gets so crowded, it’s like a mob,” Smith said, urging students to be patient as they wait to enter the library.

But Dyer is optimistic that with time students and faculty will get used to the new routine. “I feel like once we get into the groove of the semester everyone will get to the point where they’re like, ‘OK I’m in the library, time to open my Healthy Together app,'” she said.

Alexa Frost, a freshman from Clayton, California, said she is hopeful this semester will prove better than the last. She had spent most of her days studying in the library and saw a lack of compliance, specifically with mask-wearing.

She said having the extra precautions won’t stop her from coming to the library. “It’s pretty easy and straightforward, so I like it.”

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