Renovations to Cook Library at the University of Southern Mississippi have been halted after an employee of the subcontractor assigned to the project tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee was last on campus 10 days ago, said Jim Coll, chief communication officer for the university.
“The subcontractor informed the USM Physical Plant over the weekend, and university officials halted the project after being informed (Monday) that the employee of the subcontractor tested positive,” said Coll.
Coll said the employee was working in an isolated part of the library.
“The construction zone is separated from the rest of the library with plywood,” he said.
Coll said he was unaware of any direct interactions the employee may have had with Southern Miss students, faculty or staff.
He said renovation work at the library has been suspended for 14 days, but no other university projects have been affected.
According to the Southern Miss website, renovation of the Cook Library building began in June 2019 and is expected to be complete in January 2021.
In addition to an updated look with new flooring and paint, the library will also become home to several university services relocated from other places on the campus, including the Bower Academic Center for student-athletes and the Student Advisement Center.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the university has limited operations wherever possible and moved classes to online formats. Public access for visitors is currently suspended.