American Philatelic Center, library shutting until April 13
By Michael Baadke
The American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pa., headquarters of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library, will be closed to the public through April 13 in response to the recent worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The decision to close the facility was announced March 16 by APS executive director Scott English.
Clubs and society members who had visits scheduled through May 18 are advised to contact the APS immediately to reschedule.
“The changes are aimed at increasing the safety of the APS and APRL employees and volunteers, our members and guests,” the society said in a written statement. “Further, these steps are designed to assist in nationwide efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.”
APS and APRL employees will continue to work and adhere to the protocols issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the statement. As a result, all planned staff travel through May 18 has been canceled.
Antibacterial stations are being maintained around the building, and cleaning efforts will focus on high-touch areas.
The APS website has been updating cancellations and postponements affecting the stamp hobby, and the society plans to continue with additional updates as needed.
With regard to stamp clubs and stamp shows, the APS said: “Officials across the nation are encouraging social distancing for the weeks ahead. Please follow the advice of our public health officials and monitor for updated announcements. We do encourage you to stay connected with your fellow collectors electronically.”
At the time the announcement was made, the Pennsylvania State Department of Health reported 76 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, though none have been reported in Centre County, where the American Philatelic Center is located.
However, with its extensive research library and other attractions, the headquarters campus is a popular destination for many collectors who visit from all parts of the United States and other countries.
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