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BOSTON, MA (March 12, 2020) – The Museum of Science, Boston today announced that it has taken preemptive measures to protect staff, volunteers, and the public from the rapidly evolving exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by temporarily discontinuing public admissions to the Museum Exhibit Halls and suspending all public programming for 3 weeks. To date, the Museum has not had any reported cases of infection on its premises.
“As the most visited cultural institution in the city, we are compelled to follow the science and the best practices as outlined by government agencies and the World Health Organization to ensure the well-being of our community,” said Museum President, Tim Ritchie. “While we have taken tremendous measures to protect our visitors, staff and volunteers, the additional measure of temporarily closing are necessary to adequately protect everyone.”
The Museum plans to close for a minimum of 3 weeks while continuing to monitor developments. Museum leadership have concluded that reopening will only occur when the risk to public health has declined. While the Museum will be closed to the public, staff will continue to work both on and off-site, maintaining best practices such as social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting both public and behind-the-scenes spaces.
“At this time, the Museum will move forward with the renovation of the Mugar Omni Theater and construction of two new permanent exhibits opening later this year. In addition, ensuring the health and well-being of the hundreds of animals in our care remains a priority, with policies and practices in place. We are also reviewing opportunities to expand the delivery of our world class STEM learning to the public through our digital platforms,” said Ritchie.
The Museum of Science is joined by the New England Aquarium and Boston Children’s Museum in temporarily closing or suspending operations while monitoring the evolving pandemic here in Boston. In a joint statement issued today Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, New England Aquarium, Carol Charnow, President and CEO, Children’s Museum, joined with Tim Ritchie to voice their unity in taking these preemptive and protective measures. There have not been any reported cases of infection or exposure at any of these institutions.
Earlier this year, the Museum implemented its Epidemic Disease & Pandemic Response Policy, which has guided its actions in preparation for and in response to the declaration of a pandemic, ensuring that staff, volunteers, and guests are safe, while minimizing the impact on Museum operations.
Recently, the Museum implemented a temporary work-from-home policy which gives staff the choice to work from home if they feel more comfortable, and an advisory that prohibits non-essential international and domestic work-related travel.
The Museum will continue to monitor this quickly evolving situation and make decisions as needed regarding instituting additional measurements. “This decision was not made lightly and we thought long and hard about the impact this will have on our community and those we serve. However, as the details of this pandemic are changing moment by moment and as we continue to review the science, research suggests that the wisest course of action is to limit social interaction,” said Ritchie.
Those with questions can visit the Museum’s dedicated webpage for more details: www.mos.org/coronavirus.
About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most attended cultural institution, the Museum of Science introduces approximately 1.5M visitors a year to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), through the world-class hands-on exhibits, programs and curricula of its William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center. Established in 1830, the Museum is home to such iconic exhibits as the Thompson Theater of Electricity, the Charles Hayden Planetarium, and the Mugar Omni Theater. Beyond its walls, the Museum reaches tens of millions more through award-winning STEM content such as its blockbuster traveling exhibits, The Science Behind Pixar, the world’s leading prek-8 engineering curricula, EiE®, and originally created, globally distributed planetarium shows. The Museum influences formal and informal STEM education through research and national advocacy, as a strong community partner and loyal educator resource, and as a leader in universal design, developing exhibits and programming accessible to all. Learn more at https://www.mos.org.