Following the lead of elected officials and public health experts amid the coronavirus outbreak, the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) will be temporarily closed to the public beginning Saturday, March 14 through the end of the month.
“As always, the health and safety of our visitors and employees is our highest priority. We encourage everyone to be careful, follow guidelines regarding hygiene and social distancing that will help protect you and those around you, and be kind and supportive to each other,” said Margaret Honey, president and CEO of NYSCI. “As Americans, and New Yorkers, let’s continue to demonstrate to the world the collective strength we possess when we are united in our purpose.”
There have not been any team members or recent visitors to the museum who have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, Honey said in a statement.
“Scientists and researchers are vital in the fight to control the spread of this disease. NYSCI has an important role to play in nurturing the next generation of scientists and researchers,” Honey said. “Therefore, our staff will continue to work behind-the-scenes during the closure.”
The museum has developed learning materials focused on viruses and disease transmission to help people understand the science behind these topics. In response to the pandemic, NYSCI staff rapidly created an exhibition about viruses and the coronavirus (COVID-19), which is freely available to science centers around the world to help them provide accurate, helpful information to their audiences during this time.
Additionally, the museum’s interactive online graphic novel for middle school students, Transmissions: Gone Viral, is available to view free on the website, Honey said.
“The graphic novel explores the subject of zoonotic diseases – diseases like COVID-19 – that can be spread from animals to humans,” Honey said. “We encourage teachers, parents and caregivers to use Transmissions: Gone Viral to create a science learning moment out of the current situation. We look forward to providing opportunities for science learning at the museum again very soon.”