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Glazer Children's Museum to reopen with COVID-19 safety changes

The children's museum is full of hands-on exhibits, so they developed an extensive plan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

TAMPA, Fla. — Florida is moving into 'Phase two' of its reopening plan. Theme parks and local attractions are getting ready to welcome visitors again.

One of those local Tampa Bay attractions is the Glazer Children's Museum. 

"We know parents are itching to get their kids out of the house and we want families to be confident in us, that we're doing everything we can to protect their families," said Sarah Cole, the president and CEO of the Glazer Children's Museum.

The museum opens to the public on June 6th, with hundreds of new signs inside the museum announcing safety measures and rules for guests. 

While the spread of the coronavirus has enhanced some of the cleaning procedures at the museum, the deep-cleaning process and frequent turnover of exhibit props are not new. "Because we're a very hands-on children's space, we deal with this all year round. I mean, flu season hits us every year and we have to double down our efforts. Daycare calls and says, 'One of the kids who visited last week has hand foot and mouth disease' so we're used to the cleaning," said Cole.

Here are some of the biggest changes being made at the museum:

  • The museum is limiting capacity to 25 percent, lower than the state's allowed 50 percent
  • Timed entry tickets must be purchased online. Museum members will need to make a reservation prior to visiting, in order to keep the number of people waiting in line to a minimum to follow social distancing guidelines
  • The museum is now closed on Mondays for deep cleaning and training
  • Entry and exit are now two separate doors on opposite sides of the building
  • Stairwells are one-way
  • Restrooms have partitions between the sinks
  • Drinking fountains are closed, but two new touchless water bottle refill stations have been added
  • High-touch exhibits are temporarily closed
  • Some exhibits are limited to one family at a time: the tugboat tot area, light cloud, twinkle stars theatre, the vet clinic, painting with light, the dance floor and the fire truck

The museum strongly recommends anyone with symptoms of illness stay home. All guests over the age of 12 will be required to wear a face-covering when visiting. 

"It could be a gaiter, a mask, but it needs to cover both the nose and the mouth," said Cole. She also suggests putting anyone over the age of two in a mask, but understands the challenges. "A lot of us are parents with young kids. We know that they're fussing with them and touching them all day, which kind of defeats the purpose of the masks. If this is a place where they can practice [wearing a mask] before they go to those places that require them, we would love to be that place."

To learn more about safety changes made at the museum or to reserve your tickets, click here

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis says Phase 2 of reopening Florida begins Friday

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