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Coronavirus: Saskatchewan museums reopening with some changes

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan museums reopening with some changes
WATCH: After being shuttered due to the pandemic, some Saskatchewan museums are opening for the first time in months… with some changes in place.

It has been months since people in Saskatchewan have been able to visit some museums that shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now, museums are preparing to reopen with a few changes.

Remai Modern opened to members last week and will open to the public Thursday. The museum closed its doors in March following provincial health guidelines, which it continues to follow as it welcomes guests again.

Read more: Saskatchewan school divisions mandate masks, but parents say more needs to be done

“We’ve got a security guard at the front who does a screening process just to confirm that people … haven’t been in contact with COVID-19,” Remai Modern marketing director Alison Murawsky said.

Things will look different throughout the museum, as well. There are hand sanitizer stations, arrows and other guidelines in and out of exhibits. The building and each gallery has a set capacity to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

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“We feel pretty confident that the scale of the building and the amount of space that we have will allow people to experience everything that we have to offer in a safe way,” Murawsky said.

It’s been a welcome change for Saskatchewan museums to have patrons again. Saskatoon Western Development Museum manager Jason B. Wall said the pandemic has been tough financially.

Read more: Coronavirus: Tourism industry gets financial support from Saskatchewan government

“There’s a number of programs the federal government has provided [has] definitely been a big assist for the museum and helping the museum manage these very difficult financial times,” Wall said.

Like Remai Modern, the Western Development Museum has a new lobby host. Certain areas and exhibits will only allow for one group or family to enter at a time. Guests are always encouraged not to touch artifacts, but it’s even more important now.

“We can’t sanitize them. We’re trying to keep even more hands-off so we’re not putting people into a dangerous or uncomfortable situation,” Wall said.

The Western Development Museum Saskatoon location opened to volunteers and members this week and will open to the public August 19.

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