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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History reopens after COVID-19 shutdown

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
Blake DeVine/KEYT
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has implemented COVID-19 protocols to ensure that guests can safely enjoy their visit.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Following many months of silence, the sound of children filled with excitement has returned to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. 

This week, the museum reopened its indoor exhibits for the first time since mid-March.

“It certainly feels amazing to have everyone back on campus and inside,” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History senior manager of guest services Kim Zsembik said.

The museum has implemented comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure guests and staff enjoy their visit in the safest way possible. 

This includes advanced reservations for the museum to limit the number of guests on campus at one time, one-way flow of movement from the entrance to exit to allow for physical distancing, hand washing stations throughout campus and increased cleaning of all public areas.

Masks properly covering the nose and mouth are required for everyone age 3 years and older. 

“The best part about being back open is once again, seeing families and kids being very excited,” Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History president and CEO Luke Swetland said. 

Reopened indoor spaces at the museum include Mammal Hall, Bird Hall, Santa Barbara Gallery, Chumash Life, Maximus Gallery and Earth and Marine Sciences.

The Curiosity Lab, Gem & Minerals, and Gladwin Planetarium will remain closed until mid-November. 

The Museum Library will be open to researchers by appointment. 

“If we touch these kid’s hearts and get them excited about the natural world, they’re going to grow up and be the next generation of environmental stuarts,” Swetland concluded.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History is now open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To reserve a ticket to the museum, click here.

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist at KEYT NewsChannel 3, KCOY NewsChannel 12 and KKFX My Fox 11

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