Since staff members at the Children’s Museum have fielded many inquiries about the coronavirus, I wanted to share how the Museum has prepared and is responding. First, I should emphasize how persistently the Museum is cleaned on an ongoing basis. During our hours of operation, full-time custodians wipe down and clean all surfaces throughout the Museum. When the Museum is closed, additional custodians conduct a top-to-bottom cleaning of the exhibit galleries, art studio, bathrooms, classrooms, and lobby. Every day, we rotate all exhibit materials, replacing play vegetables, balls, Legos, etc. with a new set while the original set gets cleaned.
Because our regular “green” cleaning products are not effective against the coronavirus, we’ve started using bleach to disinfect the Museum. We’ll switch back once the virus is no longer a threat to public health. In addition to cleaning the active play area in the “Legacy Tree Gallery” after hours, we have begun closing it for one hour every afternoon to deep clean the space.
When you visit the Museum, we strongly encourage you and your children to wash hands (even more frequently than you normally do) while singing the ABC song. While we have increased the number of hand sanitizing stations, nothing beats soap and hot water for keeping hands clean. In our bathrooms, we’ve added step-by-step directions for cleaning hands in both English and Spanish, which were donated by Northwell Health. And, of course, please encourage your children to cough into their elbow instead of their hand and try to limit the number of times they touch their face.
If Museum staff do not feel well, we tell them to stay home. Similarly, if you or any member of your family isn’t feeling well, you should not come to the Museum. And children who are too sick to go to school are certainly too sick to come to the Children’s Museum.
If the Museum needs to close for public health reasons, we will alert our community immediately. In the meantime, as CDC advises, “keep calm and wash your hands.”