Austin/Travis County has returned to Stage 5 COVID Risk-based guidelines, due to rapidly increasing numbers of new cases and hospitalizations.
From the outset of the COVID pandemic, Thinkery’s top priority has been the safety and well-being of our visitors and staff. We also believe that our mission of providing a safe environment for in-person, hands-on learning and STEAM exploration meets a vital need for children and families throughout our community…especially now.
Thinkery has instituted a number of rigorous health and safety protocols, including an ongoing mask requirement for all staff and guests over 24 months old. With these rigorous measures in place, we will continue operating the museum, Thinkery camps, and Little Thinkers Preschool as scheduled at this time. However, while the community is in Stage 5, Thinkery is instituting additional restrictions and operational changes to make the learning environment as safe as possible for everyone:
- We are reducing capacity for all General Admission sessions to 25% of total museum capacity to allow for expanded social distancing;
- We have temporarily suspended our Baby Bloomers program, since the majority of its audience is made up children ages 0-2 who are not subject to our mask requirements;
- We have also suspended all on-floor activities (such as Story Times and pop-up activations) that cause crowds to gather or groups to congregate in a certain area for extended periods;
- We are also requiring all full- and part-time Thinkery staff, with limited exceptions, to be fully vaccinated by September 30, 2021. All new hires will be required to be fully vaccinated, as well.
Now more than ever, we all need to behave responsibly and respectfully to the children and families who make up our Thinkery community—especially the children under 12 who are not yet vaccine-eligible and any immunocompromised family and loved ones with whom they come in contact.
We ask anyone planning a visit to Thinkery to review our health and safety protocols prior to their visit. If a guest is unable or unwilling to observe the rules as posted, we ask that they reschedule their visit for another time after the COVID restrictions are no longer in place.
As an institution dedicated to science and education, we also strongly encourage everyone who is eligible and able to do so to get vaccinated if they haven’t done so already. Vaccines are the best tool we have to help control—and eventually end—this ongoing pandemic.
Thinkery will continue to monitor the local numbers and guidance of Austin Public Health and the CDC. We will update our policies and plans accordingly as the situation requires.
Please join us in doing all that we can to protect our friends, family, and the entire community.