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FWMSH Health & Safety Guidelines to Respond to COVID-19

Introduction

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is committed to providing exceptional experiences which begins by ensuring the health and safety of our employees and guests.

The Museum’s proactive cleaning and sanitation protocols will be enhanced, at every touch point, following the recommendations that are being provided by state, city and local public health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We will continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.

On April 27th, Texas Governor Abbott issued an order that supersedes local orders and restrictions, thereby beginning a phased-in reopening of businesses. The City of Fort Worth has continued to work with the Governor’s office to ensure that his phased approach is executed thoughtfully in Fort Worth.

Phase 1 of the Governor’s Open Texas plan included reopening of restaurants, retailers, museums, libraries, and movie theaters at a maximum of 25% of their listed occupancy, churches, and places of worship with expanded capacity and single person offices.
Phase 2 of the Open Texas plan introduced equestrian shows and rodeos as allowed activities and spectators were permitted provided that indoor venues limit the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the total listed occupancy of the venue. Outdoor venues were able to operate at up to 25% of the normal operating limits as determined by the facility.

Effective June 3, 2020, Phase 3 of the Open Texas plan increased allowable venue capacity to 50% of the total listed occupancy. This phase also expanded to include all event organizers provided they can follow the mandated protocols for social distancing, health screening and reducing contact.

Effective at 6 PM on June 26, 2020 through August 3, 2020, masks or face coverings will be required in all Tarrant County businesses including the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. This applies to everyone entering our facility except for infants or when the covering of the nose and mouth poses a significant mental or physical health risk to the individual. It is best practice to stay home if your medical condition or other factors increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Overall Responsibilities

Employee & Guest Standards

The health and safety of our employees and guests is our number one priority.

  • Physical Distancing. Guests and employees will be advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from other guests while standing in lines, using elevators, or moving around the Admission, room setups, exhibitions as well as all other physical layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing.
  • Hand Sanitizer. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed at key guest and employee contact areas such as entrances, galleries, and restrooms.
  • Museum Signage. There will be health and hygiene reminders throughout the facility with special attention to entry doors, restrooms, concourses, lobbies, and other high traffic areas. Main entrances will have signage communicating COVID-19 symptoms and asking everyone to take personal responsibility for preventing disease
  • Case Notification. If we are alerted to a case of COVID-19 at the Museum, we will work with the local health authorities and will follow the appropriate steps to take with guests. We will conduct additional cleaning and disinfecting protocol of all areas that the guest has been during their visit.

Employee’s Responsibilities

Museum employees are the first line of defense for an effective health and sanitation program.

  • Employee Health and Temperature Screening. Our employees have been given clear instructions on how to respond swiftly and appropriately to all presumed cases of coronavirus infection on property in accordance with local guidelines and will be ready to provide full support to our guests addressing any health concerns. Museum employees and contractors are required to enter the building wearing facemasks and will have their temperature checked and complete a health checklist upon entry. Details on this process are presented in the Entry Screening section below.
  • Hand Washing. Proper and frequent handwashing with soap is vital to help combat the spread of virus. All Museum employees will wash their hands every 60 minutes (for 20-seconds) and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, blowing the nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking, entering and leaving a building, going on break and before or after starting a shift.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Appropriate PPE will be worn by all employees based on their role and responsibilities and in adherence to state or local regulations and guidance. Training on how to safely use and dispose of all PPE will be provided. Every employee entering the facility will be provided a mask and gloves and required to wear the PPE while inside the Museum depending on the job duty.
  • COVID-19 Training. All employees will receive training on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols with more comprehensive training for our teams with frequent guest contact including Operations, Security, and our service providers. Signage will be posted back of house reminding employees of the proper way to wash hands, sneeze and to avoid touching their faces as well as to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet away from guests and others whenever possible.

Health and Safety Inside the Museum

  • Everyone will be required to wear a mask or face covering
  • Main entrances will have signage communicating COVID-19 symptoms and asking everyone to take personal responsibility for preventing disease
  • Elevator landing and stairwell handrails will be disinfected throughout the day
  • Signs will ask guests to limit elevators to one family at a time
  • Museum employees will wear masks or face shields, and gloves when working with guests
  • Doors will be placed open to limit touch, when practical
  • Signage throughout the common areas with special attention to restrooms and public concourses reminding everyone to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene
  • Meetings will be conducted virtually and when in person, using the six-foot distance standard

Cleaning Products and Protocols

Our facility uses cleaning products and protocols which meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria, and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. We are working with our vendors, distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and the necessary PPE is available.

  • Public Spaces and Communal Areas. The frequency of sanitizing and disinfecting has been increased in all public spaces including an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public restrooms, ATMs, stair handrails, other common areas and offices.
  • High Traffic Areas. Exhibits, lobbies, concourses, and FWMSH offices will each have area-specific cleaning guidelines and protocols that meet or exceed all local or national authority recommendations.
  • Back of House. The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting will also increase in high traffic back of house areas with an emphasis on the employee break rooms, employee entrances, facility equipment, employee restrooms, loading docks, offices, and the kitchen.
  • Shared Equipment. Shared tools and equipment will be sanitized before, during and after each shift or anytime the equipment is transferred to a new employee.
  • Air Filter and HVAC The frequency of air filter replacement and HVAC system cleaning has been increased and the amount of air exchange will be maximized to increase external air flow.

Physical Distancing

  • Guest Queuing. Any area where guests queue will be marked with proper distancing.
  • Omni and Noble. Note, the Omni Theater and Noble Planetarium are currently closed.  When they reopen reserved seating or additional usher staff will be required to guide guest seating. Theaters will be operated to maintain proper distancing and attendance limits in accordance with state health protocols.
    • Maintain at least two empty seats between groups in a row, except two or more members of the same household can sit adjacent to one another, with two seats empty on either side
    • Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together can sit adjacent to one another
    • Alternate rows between patrons (every other row left empty)
  • Meeting and Banquet Spaces. Meeting and banquet set-up arrangements will allow for physical distancing between guests in all meetings and events based on CDC and state recommendations.
  • Exhibit Spaces. Exhibit areas will be setup to allow for physical distancing between guests based on CDC and state recommendations considering the layout of the exhibit components. Wider aisles will be maintained whenever possible.
  • Back of House. Physical distancing protocols will be used in the employee and service partner areas, offices, shared office spaces, training rooms, and other high-density areas to ensure six feet of separation between employees.

Office Areas

  • Cleaning & Disinfecting
    • Counters, conference rooms and office areas to be sanitized throughout the day
    • All public and back of house high traffic areas and restrooms to be sanitized throughout the day
    • Vending machines (break room) to be sanitized, with a packet of wipes hand sanitizer and signs to instruct employees to sanitize before and after using the machine
  • Physical Distancing Protocol
    • Restrict deliveries to the loading dock and inform recipient via email about packages. small package delivery
    • Enforce six-foot physical distancing minimums with guests
    • Use e-mail for all guest transactions whenever possible
  • Guest Considerations
    • Provide a sanitization kit in office
    • Encourage online transactions
    • Remove signature requirements for online credit card transactions

Maintenance, Engineers and Security

  • Cleaning & Disinfecting
    • All public and back of house high traffic areas to be sanitized throughout the day
    • Offices, desks, counters, and workspace to be sanitized throughout the day Physical Distancing Protocol
    • Enforce six-foot physical distancing minimums with guests or contractors

Food & Beverage Guidelines

Café & Catering

  • Employee PPE & Hygiene
    • All associates will be subject to daily health screening which includes daily temperature check.
    • Staff and contractors will be required to wear a face mask and gloves. Anyone who prepare or handle food will be required to wear a face mask, gloves and hairnets/hats while preparing food or in any food preparation area.
    • All food service contractors must be current on their Food Handler and/or Food Manager Certifications: https://www.statefoodsafety.com/CustomPortal/FortWorth#/
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers to be made available near service station
  • Cleaning & Disinfecting
    • Service stations, service carts, beverage stations, counters, bar tops and trays to be sanitized before and after use
    • POS terminals to be assigned to a single server, only where possible, and sanitized between each user and before and after each shift
    • Condiments to be served in single use containers (either disposable or washed after each use)
    • Associates will increase frequency of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing high touch services and areas with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended cleansers capable of combating COVID-19
  • Stars Café
    • All cold food will be pre-packaged.
    • Café staff will process payment at a station next to the grab and go cold box to minimize person/person contact.
    • A plexiglass shield will be installed to separate the guests from Café staff.
    • Once a customer has ordered and paid, they will sit and wait for Café staff to deliver their food to their table.
  • Physical Distancing Protocol
    • Space capacities of high-traffic areas will be redefined to allow for proper social distancing
    • Tables to be set with a minimum of six feet between apart
    • All self-serve food and beverage items will be temporarily replaced with the following:
      • Attendant served buffets or individually plated meals
      • Attendant served receptions
      • Attendant served coffee and other break functions as appropriate
    • All cutlery will be provided via individual wrapped plasticware
    • Seating capacities and floor plans to be reviewed on an event by event basis to ensure physical distancing and regulations are met

Entry Screening

Effective July 27, 2020, all employees and contractors entering the Museum will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, including having their body temperature taken as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Temperatures taken using a touchless forehead thermometer. The employee's temperature and screening will be documented, and the answers will be maintained as a private medical record.

The entry screening process should take less than one minute. If hourly employees spend five minutes or more in this screening process due to congestion at entry, they should report this time to the supervisor.

An employee who has a fever at or above 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or exhibits one of the conditions will be sent home.

  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks

If an employee is sent home, they should monitor his or her symptoms and call a doctor or use telemedicine if concerned about the progression of the symptoms.

An employee sent home can return to work when:

  • He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND
  • All the symptoms above have improved; AND
  • At least ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms began.

An employee may return to work earlier if a doctor confirms the cause of an employee's fever or other symptoms are not related to COVID-19 and releases the employee to return to work in writing.

An employee experiencing fever and/or the symptoms listed above while home should not report to work. Instead, the employee should contact his or her immediate supervisor for further direction.

Resources

At this point, we will follow the guidance from the Tarrant County Public Health Department and City of Fort Worth Office of Emergency Management officials.

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