DENVER (CBS4) – Nancy Walsh and her staff at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science were given a task: to create a safe environment for their guests. It was a challenge they felt they were up for.

“You know we’re geeks. We’re science nerds. Our team is all over this,” said Walsh, Vice President of Experience and Partnerships.

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Denver Museum of Nature & Science

(credit: CBS)

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is still open, but only though a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. To get the approval, they had to detail how they would keep all their visitors safe.

“Of course, masks are mandatory for all our guests and for our staff. We have a crew, an increased crew, who are going through and cleaning all high touch areas,” Walsh said.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

(credit: CBS)

At the beginning of the pandemic, the museum closed its doors for 100 days. Once it reopened in the summer, they put their new cleaning protocols into place to keep their staff and visitors safe from the virus.

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“We have no confirmed cases of transmission since we reopened on June 22. So, we feel really good about the environment we’re creating,” Walsh said.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science

(credit: CBS)

Under the new restrictions, the museum can only stay open at 25% capacity, which is why they are asking guests to grab their ticket online to keep a headcount.

“We have a staff who are actually counting people who go in even if it’s through free flow areas. We are managing and maintain the flow to ensure they are social distancing,” Walsh said.

Not every exhibit will be open like the IMAX and Planetarium. That’s still a better fate than what happened to other museums. When Denver moved into the Red level of the state’s COVID-19 dial last week, the Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, MCA Denver and Clyfford Still Museum all had to close to the public. Nancy hopes the closures will only be temporary.

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“I think we all have to remember that this is hopefully only a moment in time. And just like when we closed in March, we will all reopen again especially with the good news we hope around the vaccines.”

Justin Adams