Academy of Natural Sciences reopens with public safety a top priority

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University reopens after closing its doors due to the pandemic
Photo credit Courtesy of Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University says safety and comfort are a top priority as it reopens its doors. 

Closed since March when the pandemic hit, the museum is now up and running.

With new protocols, adjusted hours and added safety measures in place, the Academy's president and CEO Dr. Scott Cooper described how his team began strategizing for the reopening. 

"We were planning for our reopening the day that we closed. We brought all of our internal team at the Academy we worked as well with all of our Drexel University colleagues, and most importantly we spoke to our members and our visitors to make sure that we would be providing something that they wanted and most importantly made them feel safe,” Cooper said. 

There is a restriction on the number of visitors at 25% capacity, hand sanitizer will be provided, new signs will help the public navigate the facility, cleaning crews will continuously wipe down and keep surfaces spotless as well, and anyone coming to the facility will be required to wear a mask. 

Visitors also have to book their time slot online before visiting. 

"And in so doing, we can guarantee the amount of people that are coming through the building. You won't all of a sudden be in the middle of a great group of people,” Cooper said.  

Once you enter the building, Cooper said be prepared to be entertained.  

In addition to the tarantulas and tortoises in the "Survival of the Slowest" exhibit, the museum has been gearing up for a new exhibition. 

‪From Sept. 5, you'll be able to visit "Wildlife Photographer of the Year," which Cooper said is an "extraordinary new exhibition that's being developed in partnership with The Natural History Museum in London and features all the best photography and wildlife from around the world." ‬

Since the pandemic, the museum has also added digital programming.

"We've developed a lot of terrific online programs that have been fantastically well received and we're going to continue to deliver those,” he said. 

Cooper said with new measures in place, you should feel as comfortable at the museum as you are at your home.