As libraries and museums around the country begin to resume operations and reopen to the public, the need for clear information to support the handling of core materials has become increasingly urgent. OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle are conducting research on how long the COVID-19 virus survives on materials that are commonly found in libraries, archives, and museums.
The REALM Project will draw upon the research to produce authoritative, science-based information on how—or if—materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to staff and visitors. The project has released the document, “Test Plan for the Natural Attenuation of SARS-CoV-2 as a Decontamination Approach.” This technical document explains the process and details about conditions for testing materials provided by archives, libraries, and museums.
A preliminary literature review—prepared by Battelle—is also available. This review informed the context for the laboratory research that is currently underway.
For more information on the first round of testing and other activities, visit the Happening Now project update page.