About a month after reopening to the public, the Jackson Hole Children’s Museum has paused in-person operations.
The museum kept its doors closed most of the summer, running a few programs and upping its digital offerings. On Oct. 5, it reopened with limited capacity and reservations, but with rising COVID-19 numbers, it has closed again, citing the need to be part of the vanguard of the pandemic response.
“As a community resource serving many families and working closely with several local organizations, JHCM has opted to close the Museum and cancel all programs for the time being in order to be proactive about the current community spread of COVID-19 and to protect our staff and visitors from potential exposure,” Executive Director Ethan Lobdell wrote in a press release.
Until things calm down on the pandemic front, museum staff are working to alter their curriculum and make it a hybrid model. That would allow teachers to still use museum lessons in the classroom.
Like many other public-facing services, the museum said it will work with local officials, including from the Teton County Health Department, to determine when it is safe to reopen again. Lobdell told the Jackson Hole Daily that the museum is looking at five metrics: positivity rate, 7-day average case rate, county risk level, overall case count and whether any of its staff have had an exposure to the virus.
If at least three of those benchmarks are trending in the right direction, he said, the museum will consider what a reopening would look like.
“We understand the impact this closure will have on teachers, students, families, parents, and children and appreciate the community understanding the urgency and importance of this decision,” Lobdell wrote in the press release.