COVID-19 Plan & FAQ’s
Last updated on Sunday, January 3, 2021
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 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, are 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 Coverings 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 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: You may 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.
Face 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.
As part of our gradual reopening, the following spaces are currently available. 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 – Rethink Extinct, Biodiversity, Artifacts, Explore YOU presented by Independent Health, and Find WHY
- 3rd floor – Our Marvelous Earth, Yum! Presented by Wegmans, Bug Works, and In Motion
- 4th floor – Buffalo in Space
The following spaces will remain closed until further notice:
- 1st floor – Explorations early childhood gallery, 3D Cinema and concessions area
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Please follow the same reservation protocols for complimentary passes shared in response to the question above.
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.