COVID-19 Readiness & Response for Museums


Posted by OMA on 03/24/2020

COVID-19 Readiness & Response for Museums

Even though we are all social distancing, please know you are not alone. Oklahoma museums, we are here for you during this COVID-19 Pandemic, and always! We are currently planning an OMA Connections Zoom Meeting; Extending OMA Membership for any Oklahoma museum or individual that can not renew due to economic hardships; Encouraging museums to be a part of #MuseumsFromHome to continue to engage the public through remote alternatives;and Advocating on the national level to make sure that museums are included in any Recovery Stimulus Packages. Although the OMA staff is working from home, our services to you will go uninterrupted. Onward and upward!

OMA has complied many COVID-19 resources for Oklahoma museums which can be found at Oklahoma Museums Association Resources - https://www.okmuseums.org/covid-19/

List of Oklahoma #MuseumsFromhome - https://www.okmuseums.org/oklahoma-museums/

American Alliance of Museums Resources - https://www.aam-us.org/programs/resource-library/human-resource-resources/health-in-the-workplace/

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In response to COVID-19, OMA is providing some economic relief!

If you are a current OMA individual or designated member and unemployed due to a recent lay off at your museum or just having financial difficulty, or if you are an institutional member struggling during this unprecedented times, we are here to help you in the following way. Please contact the OMA office at [email protected] and let us know so we can extend your membership benefits for three additional months at no cost.  A total of one extension per membership allowed.  This program is subject to end at OMA’s discretion.

In addition, OMA offers the following:

-Visit the job postings on the OMA website at http://www.okmuseums.org/jobs/
-Submit your resume to [email protected] for an informal resume review

We will get through this difficult situation together.

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We know that museums have emergency response plans and are prepared for disasters, but few plans address a potential virus outbreak.

Although there are no confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in Oklahoma at this time, we would encourage Oklahoma museums to be prepared. Preparations include monitoring the situation and planning to operate as usual, unless told otherwise by a city, county or state health departments, or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization. At this time, the immediate risk of transmission remains low, but continued monitoring is prudent.

Here are a few additional ideas and expanded best practices that your museum might consider implementing:

  • Form a coronavirus task force to plan and keep museum staff, volunteers and visitors safe and informed
  • Add more hand sanitizers for the public throughout your museums, and make sure they are full of product at all times
  • Implement several times a day sanitizing and disinfecting procedures for exhibits, bathrooms, door handles and handrails. Pay special attention to deep clean popular interactive areas and/or temporarily eliminate items that are handled adjacent to the face
  • Consider flexible ticket exchange policies
  • Send a reassuring email to your members and donors letting them know you care about them and are open and a healthy and safe place to visit
  • Consider installing CDC posters around your museum and in your bathrooms, sample poster here
  • Communicate healthy workplace guidelines to museum staff
  • Encourage museum staff to stay home when sick and seek medical attention if symptoms warrant
  • Keep in communication with other museums and cultural organizations in your area
  • Prepare your office computers and networks for telecommuting in case of a facility shutdown.
  • Plan now how a virus outbreak would impact your financial resources should a shutdown be required, keeping in mind museum staff too. Check your insurance policy in regards to lost revenue during a shutdown.
  • Limit employee travel to coronavirus hot spots, which are currently Italy, China, Iran and South Korea


Utilize the many resources available including:
American Alliance of Museums Resources - https://www.aam-us.org/programs/resource-library/human-resource-resources/health-in-the-workplace/

American Hotel and Lodging Association Coronavirus Information-
https://www.ahla.com/facts-about-coronavirus

CDC- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-community-faith-organizations.html

World Health Organization - https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019