TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Discovery Science Place in Tyler will reopen Friday after a temporary closure due to COVID-19.
Executive Director Chris Rasure tells KLTV an employee tested positive for COVID-19 and that that employee has not been inside the museum since Wednesday, July 1.
He said the museum decided to close out of an abundance of caution and to allow for extra cleaning and staff isolation.
“We just felt like that was the best safety measure to take. Luckily, most of my staff hadn’t been in direct contact with her for a number of days. She hadn’t been to the museum since about the middle of last week. So, we’re just going to take every precaution we can because we want to stay open and we want to continue to serve our mission,” Rasure said. “It’s helpful to be closed for five or six days just to give any potential virus time to decay and not be transferred.”
Rasure said no other employees at the museum are showing any symptoms but that everyone is on high alert for if that happens.
“None of us have been tested, but we are going to maintain kind of a high alert. I check in with all the staff daily. All the staff that were not just essential to what we’re doing at the moment, I’ve sent home for the week. I’m trying to keep everyone as separated from each other as possible,” he said. “If we felt like there was somebody who had any additional symptoms or reason to fear that they might be infected, we’d get them tested at that time.”
The museum is getting ready for its newest exhibit, The Art and Science of Arachnids. The exhibit will be open to the public Saturday, July 11.
“Great exhibit. It’s an exhibit that’s good not just for little kids. If you have some older children or adults who want to come see about 100 different spiders — some of them are as big as my fist — and learn about a lot of the art and culture and science of arachnids,” Rasure said
COVID-19 protocols will be in place when the Discovery Science Place reopens this weekend. The facility will be open Fridays through Sundays only with scheduled time slots for visitors from 10 a.m. to noon Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.
Capacity will be limited to encourage social distancing, all guests will be required to wash their hands at a newly built handwashing station before entering, plexiglass screens have been added to the front counter, only cashless transactions will be allowed on-site and additional sanitation bins have been placed around the museum for items that guests feel need additional cleaning.
All guests over 10 years old, will be required to wear a face mask.
“If we take all those steps, we can stay open we can have our businesses stay open, but we can also ride that line between keeping our community safe and keeping our businesses open,” Rasure said.