Our mask policies
Face masks are optional for fully vaccinated visitors while at the Museum. Unvaccinated visitors over the age of five should wear masks indoors. All guests should stay six feet apart from other groups.
Common questions about our updated mask policies
- Why the change in mask policy? Recent positive community trends with coronavirus infection (increased vaccination rates, low percent of positive cases, and emerging data on COVID-19 and children) led us to conclude that we have entered a time when we can change our indoor mask policy.
- Does science support this less-restrictive mask policy?
We believe that it does. Here are some of our considerations:
- We used different metrics from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, consulted outside experts, and relied upon our own experiences to determine policy changes.
- We have carefully watched our peer institutions across the state over the past month as they immediately relaxed their indoor policies (in line with Governor’s guidance) and there have been no secondary transmission occurrences/issues as a result of their policy change.
- Currently, there is little to no evidence to support that COVID-19 transmission is common in Museum settings, even in the height of cases. Cultural institutions do not have significant transmission data to report.
- Confirmed studies show that children are at extremely low risk for COVID and generally do not transfer infection to adults.
- The frequent movement of guests through the Museum and our work to increase our indoor fresh air exchange by 25% creates a low-risk indoor environment for COVID-19 transmission.
- What qualifies as vaccinated? Visitors are “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot or the second of the Pfizer/Moderna shots.
- If I’m vaccinated, do I still need to wear masks indoors? Vaccinated guests do not need to wear face masks at the Museum.
- We still urge all guests to maintain six-foot physical distancing between groups at the Museum, both inside and outside. Please do your best to give other families and groups plenty of space.
- Guests will not be required to prove their vaccination status with documentation or paperwork. We will count on visitors to follow our mask policies in good faith, based on their vaccination status.
- Guests are welcome to continue to wear masks anywhere in the Museum if it makes them feel safer or more comfortable.
- What about summer camps? While the general Museum policies have changed, our more restrictive camp mask policies will remain in place. Because many of our campers are not yet eligible for vaccination, we will continue to require both campers and staff to wear masks during the camp day, both indoors and outdoors. Read more.
- What about visitors with special needs or health conditions that do not allow them to wear masks? The Museum of Life and Science is firmly committed to serving and providing outstanding experiences to guests of all needs and abilities. However, we understand that these mask requirements are challenging for many of our guests. It may make it difficult for some guests to visit during this time. We apologize for the disappointment and frustration this causes for any guest who cannot visit and adhere to the mask requirements. However, health and safety are our top priorities, above all else right now. We will welcome back all visitors with open arms once these remaining mask restrictions are no longer necessary.