COSI has announced its public reopening, set for Friday, Nov. 20. The center will reopen gradually, with strict COVID-19 restrictions, limited contact and attractions, and a high-tech new HVAC system to keep the air clean.
The Center of Science and Industry has been closed since March 13, but a reopening guide from the center cites close monitoring of data and scientific research as driving factors in the decision to reopen.
“As a science center, COSI acutely understands the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe environment and the science behind COVID-19 transmission and prevention,” the guide says.
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Frederic Bertley, president and CEO of COSI, said the center is exercising the utmost caution in its reopening. COSI was originally due to reopen July 8, but the team decided to postpone after Franklin County was declared a Level 3 Public Emergency for COVID-19 spread. Although the virus’s spread has slowed in the county, Bertley said COSI is willing to adjust or postpone opening plans if the situation changes.
“The issue for us is, ‘Can we provide a safe and secure space in our building?’ And that is true right now,” he said.
The reopening guide lays out an extensive list of rules and guidelines for guests, as well as COSI’s own efforts to combat the spread of the virus. Most notably, the center has installed a UV-C Photohydroionization air sterilization system in their HVAC system, which will “recreate natural processes that happen outdoors to create fresh, clean air indoors.”
High-contact attractions will also be closed, including the high-wire unicycle, gadgets stage, drinking fountains, and many activities that incorporate headphones or telephones. Surfaces will be regularly sanitized throughout the day.
For guests, timed ticketing and face coverings for those above age 6 will be required. It is recommended that guests socially distance, use the provided hand sanitizer, and bring a personal stylus to interact with any touch screens. Although employees will be temperature screened before entering, guests will not.
COSI will reopen in stages and test policies carefully to ensure they are adapting to the pandemic as it unfolds, according to the guide.
Beginning Nov. 20, COSI will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More information can be found on the COSI website.