Health & Safety Procedures

Health and Safety Procedures for Visitors 

We believe museums are essential to our communities and culture, and we will continue to deliver our mission for the benefit of our communities. However, supporting the health and safety of our visitors, staff and community is our primary concern right now. Thus:

  • We have expanded our online programming to serve those who are either not comfortable returning to public spaces or who have health conditions that make it unwise to do so;
  • We are also prepared to offer modified onsite experiences, as long as we can work to reduce the risk of doing so; and
  • As a private, non-governmental institution, we will adopt health and safety procedures based upon recommendations by national, state and local agencies as well as medical and scientific experts. We will carefully and continually monitor these procedures and make adjustments if and when we believe appropriate given updated recommendations from the medical and scientific community.

 

ASSUMPTION OF RISK: While we will do our best to reduce the risk to our staff, visitors and community, there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public place where people are present—in particular when indoors with groups of people. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death, whether to you or to other people with whom you are in close proximity. By visiting the Museum of the Southwest, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

 

Adjusted Hours to Allow for Cleaning:

  • Tuesday—Friday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday--Monday: Closed

 

Crowd Limitations & Social Distancing Practices

 

The art museum galleries are narrow, enclosed spaces and due to the need to control temperature and humidity to protect artwork there are no windows that can be opened to increase ventilation. Thus, for the protection of our staff and visitors:

  • All visitors over the age of 2 years must wear masks when inside Museum buildings during public hours. 
    • We will also require face masks and social distancing for all staff who engage with the public.
    • You are not required to wear masks when visiting our grounds and outdoor sculptures, although it is recommended.
    • Disposable masks will be available to purchase upon entry.
  • We will allow limited numbers of visitors inside at any one time and will control the number of visitors by selling timed tickets online in advance.
    • If you arrive at the Museum and we are at capacity, staff will ask you to wait until some visitors exit. This is to ensure we operate at a limited capacity for the health of our staff and visitors.
    • If you do not buy tickets online in advance, one member of your party may enter the Museum to see if any tickets are available (credit card only, no cash) but must observe social distancing while waiting—decals on the floor will indicate proper spacing.
    • If you arrive and have questions about your ticket or entry time, please send one member of your party into the Museum and observe social distancing—decals on the floor will indicate proper spacing.
    • You may be required to wait outside upon your arrival.
    • No groups larger than 5 will be allowed in together unless they all live in one household
  • Individuals or groups of guests are required to maintain at least 6 feet distance from other individuals or groups—signage and floor decals will serve as reminders of social distancing requirements.
  • We will not offer drop-in children’s activities or play areas for the time being, only art exhibitions. 
    • Adults must keep any children with them at all times; it is recommended children 3 years and younger are carried or ride in a stroller.
  • Free Sunday hours (2 pm to 5 pm) will be for senior citizens only. 
  • We have installed plexiglass screens at admission desks.
  • The Museum galleries are staged for one-way paths only through the exhibitions. Please wait outside any gallery if there are any people in that gallery, until those people have moved into the next gallery.
  • There is no coat check area available.
  • The restrooms have been changed to “single occupant” (or more than one person if you live in the same household) with “occupied” signs on the doors. Please slide the sign to “occupied” before entering and to “open” when leaving. The signs will be regularly sanitized.
  • The drinking fountain is not available.
  • Guests showing signs of illness at any time during their visit will be asked to return at a later date.
  • If a COVID-19 case is tracked to or suspected at the museum, available staff and visitor information (including contact information) will be shared with health officials to allow for contact tracing.  

Sanitation and Cleaning Procedures

  • We have installed a hand sanitizing station at the entrance, please use the hand sanitizing station upon entering the building.
  • We have instituted heightened cleaning protocols, including frequent cleaning and disinfection of “high-touch” door handles and other surfaces.
  • The restrooms will be sanitized regularly: each morning, and after any times of heavy usage.

Exhibit and Program Modifications

  • Only one-way progress through the exhibitions will be allowed, please follow the markers and stanchions and wait for the gallery in front of you to be empty before moving forward.
  • Hands-on exhibition components and other “high touch” or enclosed room experiences will remain closed, including the Blakemore Planetarium theater. Reopening of those components will be determined at a later date.
  • Tours and face-to-face educational programs for the public will be opened at a later date to be determined.

Staff Training Procedures

  • All staff members have gone through required training sessions to understand and implement these modified procedures to ensure the health of both staff members and visitors.
  • We will provide face masks and gloves for all staff who engage with the public.
  • The temperature of all employees will be measured before entering the museum; any employees exhibiting a temperature over 100 degrees will be sent home.
  • Upon entering the building, employees are required to wash or sanitize their hands.
Home Visitor Health & Safety

Where To Find Us

Museum of the Southwest
1705 W. Missouri Ave.
Midland, TX 79701
432.683.2882