How are Cleveland museums adjusting to COVID-19?


Katelyn Vargo

The inside of the Cleveland Museum of Art in February just a few short weeks before COVID-19 changed how the museum welcomes the community safely.

Katelyn Vargo, Staff Reporter

With the colder weather creeping in, taking a daily walk might not be the most plausible way to beat COVID-19 cabin fever as we head into the winter months. Luckily, the Cleveland area is home to a variety of museums that serve as much warmer alternatives to sitting at home all day. 

For many museums and attractions across Cleveland, the health and safety of their patrons and employees is a top priority. In compliance with state health guidelines, some of Cleveland’s prominent museums have implemented standards to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

One of the most common changes museums made is a timed ticketing system to manage the amount of patrons allowed inside at a given time. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Botanical Gardens and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame require guests to reserve timed entry tickets online prior to their visit. No tickets will be sold on site at any of the previously listed locations. 

Online ticketing is not the only action museums are taking to ensure safety prior to entry. Both the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Rock Hall also require guests and staff to take patrons’ temperatures at the doors. The Rock Hall also asks patrons health screening questions about COVID-19 symptoms before they can enter. 

The State of Ohio’s mask mandate for indoor spaces is also in place at all attractions in Cleveland. At the Rock Hall, disposable masks are available for those without one. More information on the Rock Hall’s COVID-19 response can be found here

While most museums are operating under common COVID-19 standards, some have implemented unique changes. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History has closed the planetarium indefinitely and implemented a one-way traffic flow, meaning guests must walk through on a predetermined path. At the Cleveland Museum of Art, water fountains and the coat check have been closed, and only prepackaged foods will be offered at the cafe. 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Destination Cleveland, a non-profit Cleveland visitor bureau, launched its CLEan committed health campaign in an effort to ensure consistent health and safety procedures across the Cleveland area. When businesses partner with the campaign, they commit to promoting social distancing, increasing cleaning protocols and requiring masks. All of Cleveland’s major museums have partnered with this campaign. 

With the holiday season quickly approaching, even Cleveland’s most popular Christmas-themed attractions are adjusting to the pandemic. Both the Christmas Story House in Tremont and Castle Noel in Medina will be open during the holiday season. Masks are required at both locations, and Castle Noel is offering private tours for small groups. Reservations for Castle Noel can be made on its website

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives, museums have adapted with the rest of us to bring some sense of normalcy. With their commitments to health and safety, Cleveland’s museums are doing their part to keep the community safe.