The McWane Science Center is preparing to welcome its first visitors back to the museum after closing to the public on March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Summer camps will begin on June 15, but the facility will remain closed to the general public until July 8.
CEO and President Amy Templeton noted in a letter to the public that Itty Bitty Magic City will remain closed until Aug. 5, as it is an “especially hands-on” exhibit for younger children who require more guidance.
“Our staff has been hard at work ensuring that you and your children will stay safe and healthy upon your return,” Templeton said.
“We are a science center, and we followed the science as we made our plans,” she added. “We gathered research from the CDC, the NIH, state and local Departments of Public Health, and other government agencies that are focusing on COVID-19. We also consulted leading experts right here at UAB, including an epidemiologist and a specialist in pediatric infectious disease. We feel confident in our plans, and now we will need all of you to help us implement them.”
Some of the changes guests will experience include the following:
- McWane will be open five days a week, from Wednesday through Sunday.
- All McWane staff and volunteers will wear masks. Visitors ages 8 and up will be required to wear a mask, and masks are strongly recommended for visitors ages 3 through 7. Masks are not recommended for children 2 and under.
- Markers and signs have been placed throughout the building to help groups maintain distance from other groups. There will also be assistance in the IMAX theater during entry and exit and to ensure proper spacing in the theater seats.
- More hand sanitizer stations have been added throughout the museum, and frequent hand washing with soap and water is also encouraged throughout a guest’s visit.
- The frequency of sanitizing has been increased, including high-touch areas.
- With the café closed for renovations, guests will temporarily be allowed to bring in outside food. Lunchroom A, near the vending area on the lower level, will be open for guests who wish to bring their lunch or have a snack during their visit. The lunchroom tables in that area have been arranged for social distancing, and masks will not be required in that space. IMAX concessions and vending areas will sell snack items, but food and drink are still not allowed in Adventure Halls.
For more information, visit mcwane.org.