Jimmy Bryant, director of Arkansas Heritage, confirms a reader’s comment yesterday that the state will open four museums Tuesday.
Bryant tells me by e-mail:
We will reopen to the public on Tuesday, May 26. The hours at Old State House Museum, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Delta Cultural Center will be 10 a.m. to 4 p. m.
Our hours are different than before the shutdown to allow for extensive cleaning/disinfecting to take place after we close and before we open.
We are going to limit the number of museum patrons that can be in the museums at any one time. There will never be as many as 50 (including museum staff) at one time. In order to make sure we can safely social distance, we are keeping the number of visitors to an easily manageable number. Social distancing will be practiced at each location.
At the entrance of each facility will be a sign that has several questions used by the CDC that patrons must read before entering. If they answer NO to all the questions then they can enter the museum.
All museum staff and museum visitors, aged 10 and up, are required to wear masks. After museum visitors enter the museum they will then be required to immediately use hand sanitizer.
Max, our primary goal is to keep museum staff and museum visitors as safe as possible.
He adds that if visitors don’t have a mask, one will be provided.
Bryant added later that not all employees are back in state facilities. Some with health issues or caring for an elderly parent or spouse or have child-care issues are working from home.
He also said the state archives have been getting ready for opening Tuesday, too, with microfilm machines spaced 10 feet apart. Visitors there also will have to wear masks and use hand sanitizers. The archives will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The museums have provided online programming in the interim.
I also received plans for reopening the Central High School National Historic Site, a facility of the National Park Service, beginning June 8. The plan:
Visitor Center (open daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with limited services)
- No more than 10 visitors will be allowed inside visitor center at any time
- Visitors may have to wait to access and may be restricted to 30 minutes in the visitor center on higher visitation days
- (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
- Exhibits open, but the park film will be shown only upon request
- (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
- Limited informal programming on NHS grounds
- (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)Outdoor spaces at Little Rock Central High School NHS remain accessible to the public in accordance with the latest federal, state, and local health guidance:
Elizabeth Eckford Commemorative Bench
…. Current plans are for Phase II of park operations to begin on June 15 and to include scheduled tours of no more than 10 visitors. Phase III will allow full access to the visitor center, exhibits, park film, bookstore and scheduled tours of no more than 50 participants will begin on June 22 [for more information on scheduling tours, visit the Guided Tours page on our park website]. However, moving to Phase II and III is contingent upon successful implementation of Phase I beginning June 8 as well as sufficient staff capacity, personal protective equipment, and current local and state health guidance.