As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to have increased impact across our region, we feel it is important to share the steps MHCM is taking to help keep you, our staff and our volunteers safe and healthy.

As is always the case at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, the health and safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers remains our highest priority.  Coronavirus is a rapidly evolving situation and is one we are monitoring closely.

 

What is MHCM doing to prepare for Coronavirus / COVID-19?

CLEANING As a facility that caters to children and families, we are proud of the cleanliness of our museum and work hard to employ stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols on a daily basis. We contract with an outside cleaning service for daily deep cleans, and museum staff regularly disinfects all hard surfaces, exhibits and toys throughout the day when we are open.

Over the past few weeks we have increased the frequency and extent of our cleaning.  You will notice even more hand sanitizing stations and Lysol wipes located throughout the museum for your use, as well as more “Sticky Yucky” bins to collect toys needing immediate cleaning.  To ensure sufficient stock of cleaning supplies, we pre-ordered a 3-month supply of cleaning and disinfecting products.

SICK POLICY.  We ask that all guests, staff and volunteers adhere to the museum’s SICK POLICY.

If you, or someone in your household, are not feeling well we ask that you do not visit the museum at this time.  Similarly, we are requiring that our staff and volunteers stay home if they are not feeling well.  Please be advised that individuals showing any of the symptoms outlined in our Sick Policy will be asked to leave the museum.

INFORMED DECISION-MAKING. All of these practices and our business decisions are informed by guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as state and local government and public health agencies.

As a nonprofit organization that serves families of all backgrounds, our goal is to provide uninterrupted access to our museum resources.  However, we are mindful that changing government and public health guidelines may make it necessary for us to alter our daily operations.  We are making contingency plans to support any necessary shift we need to make in our public engagement efforts.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness or breath. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.  (Source: World Health Organization)

What Measures Can You Take to Protect Yourself and Your Family?

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands by washing them with soap and water or by rubbing them with an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene.  Cough into your elbow (not your hands) or a tissue.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home (door handles, faucets, light switches, remotes, etc).
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

Is COVID-19 in our area?

There are no confirmed cases in Dutchess County at this time.