Museums in Raleigh work to figure out how to up capacity as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Museum of History is an ode to the past.

With Governor Roy Cooper continuing to ease COVID-19 restrictions statewide, the museum hopes life as we know it can be a thing of the past too.

“I’m excited to see that things are coming back to whatever normal looks like going forward,” said Patti Elliott, who visited the museum on Wednesday.

Starting Friday evening, museums statewide can operate at 100 percent capacity.

“At first I’m like great! 100 percent. Then I thought there’s that exclamation point about still keeping a social distance,” mentioned Ken Howard.

Howard, the Director of the NC Museum of History, said the challenge is making sure people are spread out. Right now, they are only allowing up to 250 people inside.

“We are going to go to 300 people [this weekend]. A third of capacity and kind of gauge how things go,” he explained.

Dale Wilson is the Vice President of Hospitality at the Marbles Kids’ Museum in Raleigh. He said they won’t go to full capacity right away either.

“We are going to take some time to figure out what this means for Marbles during COVID and post COVID,” he said.

Wilson said the museum chose to operate at 35 percent capacity and moving forward they continue to monitor capacity.

“You will have to reserve a time. It’s not just show up when you want to. It’s going to be a little bit more planning,” he stated.

Howard said if all goes well the NC Museum of History could move to full capacity by this summer.

“We can keep these buildings closed and shuttered or we could let the taxpayers, who have funded these things come out and experience them,” mentioned Elliott.

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