COVID-19 Reopening Plan & FAQ’s

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science icon yellow - COVID-19 Reopening Plan & FAQs

COVID-19 Reopening Plan & FAQ’s

Last updated on Monday, July 27, 2020

We look forward to safely welcoming you back to the Buffalo Museum of Science!

At the BMS, the health and safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers continues to be our utmost priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and government mandates, the BMS is implementing a comprehensive safety plan, cleaning protocols and enhanced visitor policies as part of our gradual reopening in accordance with New York State’s Phase 4 guidelines. Our plan and policies were developed in accordance with the New York State Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment Guidelines for Employers and Employees as well as science-based safety recommendations from public health experts including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Erie County Department of Health and the City of Buffalo (ECDOH).

In order for us to provide the safest environment possible, we are asking our guests to join us in our effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while exploring the wonders of science together. We’ve provided an overview of these new policies below. To review our entire safety plan, click here.

Be sure to review these updates before making your way to the Museum as our policies are subject to change at any time.

BMS Safety and Sanitization Protocols

The Buffalo Museum of Science is taking added measures beyond our standard sanitizing procedures in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Daily Staff and Volunteer Health Screenings: We are performing daily temperature and health screenings with all staff and volunteers before they begin their day. Staff that report a temperature of 100.4are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive in the last 14 days will not be allowed to work on site.

Mandatory Face Covering for Staff and Volunteers: All staff and volunteers will be required to wear face coverings that properly cover the nose and mouth while in public areas of the Museum, or when social distancing is not possible. Face shields must be accompanied by a proper face covering.

No On-site Sales Transactions: All tickets (Golden Mummies of Egypt and General Admission) and Memberships are required to be purchased online or over the phone before your visit, thereby limiting time spent in line waiting to be checked in and to ensure capacity guidelines are met at all times.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols: In addition to daily comprehensive and deep cleanings using the Clorox® Total 360® System Electrostatic Sprayer, we have developed a comprehensive sanitization plan to give the necessary care to high-touch surfaces during Museum hours, including exhibit displays and handrails, using cleaning agents effective against COVID-19.

Directional & Safety Signage: While guests are encouraged to visit exhibits in the order they choose, we’ve posted directional signage to encourage one-direction traffic flow within our exhibit spaces and stairwells. We’ve also posted safety messaging throughout the Museum, including instructions for effective handwashing.

Additional Hand Sanitizing Stations: Hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the available exhibit spaces for easy access during your visit.

Modified or Removed Exhibits: At the beginning of our gradual reopening, only the second floor galleries will be available to guests. You may also find that some of the interactive displays you have come to know and love have been modified or removed with your safety in mind.

Complimentary Stylus: Upon entering the Museum, all guests will be provided with a free stylus to use with our exhibit touch screens and buttons, thus reducing the need to make hand contact with these displays.

Food and Drink: The Museum’s 3D Cinema Concession area and gift shop will remain closed until further notice. Guests may bring their own food or drink but must enjoy them on the Museum’s 2nd floor balcony and not in exhibit spaces.

COVID-19 Guest Policies

All guests are required to comply with all COVID-19 safety measures and abide by the Museum’s Visitor Code of Conduct. While visiting the Buffalo Museum of Science, please adhere to the following health and safety measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Personal Health Assessment: Before visiting the Museum, please take a moment to assess your own health. If you are feeling unwell, have a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, or if over the past 14 days you have been in close proximity to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home.  Simply call us to reschedule your tickets for another time when you are feeling well.

Pre-Purchasing Tickets and Memberships: In accordance with New York State’s Phase 4 reopening guidelines, we are limiting our capacity in our available spaces to 25%. In order to abide by this mandate, we ask that all guests, including our Members, purchase their tickets and memberships in advance. If you’ve forgotten to purchase your tickets, you may exit the Museum and purchase your tickets by phone 716.896.5200 or on your mobile device for the next available time slot.

Facial Coverings and Masks: In accordance with government mandates and science-based recommendations, all Museum guests two years of age or older are required to wear a mask or face covering while visiting the Museum. Face coverings should be worn at all times and fully cover your nose and mouth. Guests who remove their face coverings will be reminded of this policy. Face shields must be accompanied by a proper face covering. If you do not have a mask we will provide you with one, free of charge.

Social Distancing: While visiting, please make every effort to maintain a six-foot distance (at minimum) from other guests.

Restroom and Elevator Capacities: Please limit one guest or social group to the bathroom or elevator at a given time.

Visitor FAQ’s

Will the entire Museum be open beginning July 10?

As part of our gradual reopening, the following spaces will be available beginning July 10. You may find that some exhibit displays may have been modified or removed in accordance with NYS mandates:

  • 1st floor – Atrium experiences and Collections displays
  • 2nd floor – Golden Mummies of Egypt, Rethink Extinct, Biodiversity, Artifacts, Explore YOU presented by Independent Health, and Find WHY

The following floors will remain closed until further notice:

  • 1st floor – Explorations early childhood gallery, 3D Cinema and concessions area
  • 3rd floor – Our Marvelous Earth, Yum! Presented by Wegmans, Bug Works, and In Motion
  • 4th floor – Buffalo in Space

When does Golden Mummies of Egypt close?

We are thrilled to be able to extend the run of this world-class exhibition from England’s Manchester Museum through October 18, 2020. Beginning July 6, we are allowing tickets to be purchased no further than two weeks in advance.

I purchased tickets to visit Golden Mummies of Egypt during your closure. Can I request a refund or reschedule my tickets?

We sent an email to all ticket holders who had been scheduled to visit during our closure with options to refund, reschedule or donate your tickets. Those who have requested refunds should have received the funds in their account within two weeks of their request. If you chose to reschedule and have not already been contacted with further instruction, or if you do not recall receiving the email to request a refund, please contact us at 716.896.5200.

Why aren’t you opening all of your floors?

In accordance with the NYS Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment Guidelines for Employers and Employees, many of our interactive displays must remain closed until we are able to execute appropriate disinfecting procedures for the individual displays. With the majority of our high-touch, interactive exhibitions being located on the first, third and fourth floors, we have made the prudent decision to limit access solely to our second floor galleries.

What days and times will the Museum be open?

As part of our gradual reopening, we are reducing our regular days of operation and we are requiring guests to purchase tickets in advance. Please visit our Plan A Visit page for our current hours of operation.

Can I purchase tickets/membership on site?

We are not offering on-site transactions until further notice. All guests, including Museum Members, are required to reserve tickets and purchase memberships in advance online or by phone. All tickets will be timed to ensure we operate within the mandated 25% capacity.

Is general admission now available for purchase online?

Yes, but general admission is currently reserved for Museum Members and at first will be limited to our permanent exhibit experiences on the second floor.

I have a complimentary pass to the Museum/Golden Mummies of Egypt. How can I redeem it/them?

Please call us at least 48 hours prior to your visit so that we can reserve tickets for you. We will have your tickets available at will call upon arrival and will request that you turn in your physical passes at that time. Any complimentary passes that expired between March and June 2020 will be honored through September 30, 2020.

Please note that General Museum admission passes are not redeemable for Golden Mummies of Egypt, but only for admission to our second floor experiences.

Are you accepting Arts Access passes for general admission?

Yes, but in the first phase of our reopening general admission will be limited to the second floor exhibit galleries. Please follow the same reservation protocols for complimentary passes shared in response to the question above. Art Access passes may not be used toward Golden Mummies of Egypt admission.

I purchased tickets but am feeling unwell or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. May I request a refund for my tickets/membership?

Thank you for assessing your own health for the protection of others. Please wait to visit the Museum until you are well or received a negative COVID-19 test. You may call us at 716.896.5200 to reschedule your tickets. Review our Refund Policy for more information about program, membership and admission refunds.

Membership FAQ’s

Are you extending Museum memberships?

Yes. If your membership was active during our closure, we are extending your membership for the number of months affected. For example, if your membership ended in May, we will extend your existing membership by two months following our opening. More information may be found on our Membership page.

If you renewed or purchased a membership during our closure, your new 12 months of benefits will begin upon the reopening date.

All members should have received an email regarding their membership status during the week of June 29. If you did not receive an email, please contact our membership department at 716.896.5200 x311 or email [email protected].

I purchased/renewed my membership during your temporary closure. When do my benefits begin?

If you purchased a membership between March 1 and July 9, 2020, you should have been able to access membership discounts immediately, but your 12-month admission benefits will be effective beginning in July to fulfill our 12-month admission commitment to you.

Are you offering reduced membership rates since limited areas of the Museum are accessible?

We hope to be able to reopen our other Museum areas as soon as possible. Until that time, we are gladly waiving the exhibit fee for Golden Mummies of Egypt for active members and are excited to announce that the exhibit run has been extended through October 18, 2020.

How do I reserve my free member general admission or Golden Mummies of Egypt passes?

You may reserve your tickets online at sciencebuff.org or over the phone. You must register and/or be logged into our website to receive these benefits. For more information on receiving member-priced tickets online click here.

Are Neighbor Passes still available?

Yes, if you live in the 14208, 14211, or 14212 zip codes you are eligible to purchase a Neighbor Pass but it must be purchased in advance of your visit. Please contact our membership department at 716.896.5200 x311 or [email protected] to make your purchase.