WELCOME BACK PLAN UPDATED APRIL 1, 2021
WELCOME BACK PLAN DURING THE CHALLENGING TIME OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, the Museum of Discovery and Science continues to model what we teach through STEM programming: creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and leadership. At the onset of the pandemic, MODS quickly adapted from relying on a physical space to engineering and executing a spectacular offering of virtual STEM programs and events with a lean staff. From supporting the Broward County Public Schools with a full STEM curriculum to live Sprouting STEM early childhood and homeschool programming, the Museum has emerged as an industry resource for digital STEM content. Today, as the state of Florida deploys its new normal, MODS stands ready to welcome back the community with a hybrid model of virtual and gradual on-site experiences, events, camps and activities. THIS WELCOME BACK PLAN outlines the reopening strategy so that MODS can safely reopen with reimagined experiences for guests.
TIMELINE THE MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE (MODS) FIRST CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC on March 16, 2020, in response to the threat brought on by the worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Immediately following public closure, MODS launched digital content through the following STEM programs and implemented a full slate of initiatives, such as: • FREE Virtual Camp Discovery videos include free activities, immersive experiments, demonstrations and shows. These can be viewed at mods.org/virtualcampdiscovery.
• FREE MODS Challenge for PreK-12 students. The MODS team engineered a weekly STEM curriculum aligned with Florida’s new Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (BEST).
• FREE Virtual Sprouting STEM powered by PNC Grow Up Great is for early learners age 0-6 years old. This STEM series incorporates project-based learning challenges, video content and activity guides available for download or print.
• INSPIRE (INnovative STEM Programs In Remote Education) connects learners in grades PreK-12 to bi-
directional virtual programming in the comfort of their classrooms or homes through interactive labs, makerspace activities and Museum tours. Each of the sessions are customized to the classes curriculum and are aligned with Florida State Standards.
• FREE Virtual Wise Bodies health program presented by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) provides
high school and middle school learners with an actionable, factual and relevant HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention curriculum. The curriculum is free from judgment and full of hope and encouragement. Wise Bodies was strategically curated to champion learner empowerment through guided, open-minded discussions, compelling science demonstrations and empathy-building activities that aim to leave no question unanswered.
• FREE Virtual Eye of the Storm sponsored by the Florida Department of Emergency Management and in
partnership with the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University provides valuable information and tips on how to safely prepare for hurricane season.
• Virtual Creature Features supported by The Batchelor Foundation are a monthly meet-and-greet with a
MODS animal keeper and animal ambassador. The 30-minute encounter takes attendees on a journey to learn about a specific animal group—from their behaviors and diets to their individualized care and general personality traits and Q&A session.
• We have created an Emergency Response Team (ERT) to develop plans to protect and secure the health and safety of staff, volunteers and our guests, while also ensuring the security of the collection and building.
• We are in communication with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, which offers information on the virus’s impact on convention and tourism activity and related City business.
TIMELINE CONTINUED ON MAY 14, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-122 permitting Broward County to enter Phase 1 reopening, which states that, “Museums and libraries may open at no more than 25 percent of their building occupancy, provided, however, that (a) local public museums and local public libraries may operate only if permitted by local government, and (b) any components of museums or libraries that have interactive functions or exhibits, including child play areas, remain closed.” This was expanded to 50% occupancy in EO 20-123 on May 18, 2020.
ON JUNE 5, Broward County issued Emergency Order 20-15 permitting Broward County Summer camps can resume as of 12:01 a.m. on June 8, which states that “groups larger than 10 persons must be divided for the duration of such activities into subgroups 10 persons or less, be independently supervised and remain independent of other subgroups.” Beginning on June 15, movie theaters may “operate subject to 50 percent maximum capacity limitations.” Several of MODS interactive elements will remain closed, including the Discovery Center, Dig Pits, Max Flight etc. MODS has determined that the Museum will reopen at a 25 percent capacity and the AutoNation® IMAX® Theater will reopen at a 30 percent capacity (86 seats) for adequate social distancing.
ON JULY 27, the Museum of Discovery and Science's daily visiting hours were temporarily suspended. The Museum is offering virtual and offsite programming, which allows us to continue connecting people around the globe to inspiring science - whether at home or in virtual classrooms.
ON AUGUST 13, the AutoNation® IMAX® Theater was approved for reopening by Broward County with a limited capacity of 50% per performance or event.
ON SEPTEMBER 23, Governor DeSantis announced the state of Florida will enter Phase 3 reopening.
REOPENING WHEN THE MUSEUM OF DISCOVERY AND SCIENCE REOPENS ITS DOORS to the public, we have adapted the guest experience to adhering to all local, state and federal guidelines to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OUR GUESTS AND EMPLOYEES has been and always will be a top priority, and our day-to-day cleaning procedures are extensive. Our staff engages in large-scale, facility-wide safety and cleaning practices including washing, sanitizing and disinfecting before the Museum opens, as well as throughout the day and after closing. This is our practice every day at MODS, not just during flu season or when illnesses affect our community.
PUBLISHED GUIDANCE BY THE CDC indicates that COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) spread through touching of surfaces appears not to be the primary method of transmission and that direct person-to-person contact via respiratory droplets and frequent hand washing should remain the focus of the public efforts. We will continue our focus on active surface disinfection of all public touch points and electrostatic spraying of exhibit to provide a safe experience for our guests.
TABLE OF CONTENTS EMPLOYEE PROTECTION • PAGE 6 Employee Protection (facilities, onsite protocol, meeting spaces, use of masks) Outside Guests
GUEST EXPERIENCE • PAGE 8 Hours and Closures Health and Safety Guidelines Guest Protection Ticketing and Contactless Purchase Interactive Exhibits AutoNation IMAX Theater Special Programs (Camp Discovery, Birthday Parties, etc.) Signage Throughout the Museum
ADDENDUM 1 • PAGE 14 Face Mask Coverings at MODS Protocols for a Positive Test When to Quarantine What to Do if You Are Sick Media
EMPLOYEE PROTECTION The following protective measures have been put in place to protect the MODS Squad.
FACILITIES • All HVAC filters have been replaced; plumbing throughout the building has been flushed to eliminate any stagnant water. • Touchless hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the Museum, with key locations including common areas, entrances, exits and adjacent to elevators on each floor. • Federal, state and local guidelines including new CDC and FMLA signage are posted on the employee wall in the loading dock area. • Electrostatic cleaning is conducted at the end of day in all administrative office spaces.
ONSITE PROTOCOL • In addition to sanitizing hands upon entering the building, staff are asked to wash their hands throughout the day with soap and water, following CDC guidelines. When hand washing is not possible, hand sanitizer must be used. • Staff must have a physical distance (at least six (6) feet) throughout office spaces, following CDC guidelines. Everyone will be assigned their own workspace as opposed to sharing a cubicle. This may mean moving to another area of the Museum temporarily. Staff are responsible for keeping all workspaces clean and sanitized. • Avoid sharing desks, pens, staplers and other commonly shared items. If staff use common items, please sanitize immediately after use.
MEETING SPACES The employee break room will be closed temporarily. It has been determined that at the capacity limitation of 25% occupancy for common areas including the New River Balcony, conference room, etc. The area limits are: • Elevators: 2 people • Conference Room: 5 people • Learning Labs 1&2 or 3&4: 24 people per room • Keller Science Theater: 25 people • New River Balcony: 25 people • AutoNation IMAX Theater: 150 people • Florida Water Story: 100 people • Restrooms: • Museum Floor: 2 people • Third Floor: 1 person
USE OF MASKS All staff must wear face masks whenever they are in common spaces throughout the building. If a workspace is in a shared area, face masks must be worn at all times. If sitting in an area that is not a staff member’s assigned space, a mask must be worn.
VENDORS AND GUESTS • All vendors and guests are required to wear face masks while in the building. If staff are expecting guests, please greet them at the front designated entrance. MODS recommends sharing this information with vendors and guests prior to their arrival. • All deliveries must come through the loading dock. Any deliveries that normally come to the concierge desk will be re-routed to the loading dock. Please contact the vendor and make arrangements for delivery.
GUEST EXPERIENCE UPDATED MUSEUM HOURS AND EXHIBIT CLOSURES • Certain sections of the Museum and rides will be closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. • Certain sections of the Museum will be closed throughout the day for cleaning. • Food service is limited. Snacks can be purchased onsite in Elements Café and the Explore Store. Food may be consumed in the Atrium or in Esplanade Park (across the street).
HEALTH AND SAFETY OF GUESTS Guests over the age of two are required to wear a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose, per the CDC guidelines. • Masks are available for purchase in the Explore Store. The Museum of Discovery and Science requires that all employees, as well as visiting members of the public wear a face mask while on Museum premises. Failure to comply with this order will result in immediate removal from Museum grounds.
GUEST PROTECTION • Visible signage along with other indicators, such as floor decals, stanchion toppers will be visibly displayed throughout the Museum to explain and enforce MODS’ policies on physical distancing, hand washing and other requirements and recommendations from federal, state and local governing agencies. • All guests will be asked to maintain a safe distance of at least six (6) feet between groups and employees and other guests while at MODS. • Floor decals will assist guests in differentiating spaces and signage to regulate capacity per exhibit area. • Elevators: 2 people • Conference Room: 5 people • Learning Labs 1&2 or 3&4: 24 people per room • Keller Science Theater: 25 people • New River Balcony: 25 people • AutoNation IMAX Theater: 150 people • Florida Water Story: 100 people • Museum Floor Restrooms: 2 people from separate groups or a parent accompanying small children
TICKETING AND CONTACTLESS PURCHASE • To pre-purchase tickets, guests will need to visit mods.org/tickets. Upon completing the order, guests will receive an email confirmation. This can be printed out or shown on a personal device at the Museum’s box office for entry. • Guests who do not wish to pre-purchase their tickets will need to visit the Museum box office. Onsite ticket purchases must be made via debit/credit card; no cash will be accepted. • All tickets are unique and can only be used once.
INTERACTIVE EXHIBITS Interactive exhibits are an important part of a visit to MODS, and each onsite exhibit, ride and experience was evaluated on a varying scale of interactivity that translates to levels of sanitation protocols for the safest operation. At the Museum of Discovery and Science, guests ride in simulators (airboat, cockpit, rovers), manipulate robotic arms, press buttons and touchscreens, use multi-and single-use makerspace consumables (paper, cups, scarves). The inherent risks are varied by high-touch, moderate-touch and low-touch interactive experiences, and therefore the risk mitigation and sanitation techniques align accordingly. Disinfection is simple to implement on nonporous, easy-to-clean materials and can be more complicated on porous surfaces. Exhibit Operating Plan: • Museum staff is continuously sanitizing exhibits and high traffic areas throughout the day, including 1-hour of deep cleaning after hours and before opening. Guests also can self-disinfection at disinfectant stations strategically located in each area. Prior to opening each day, MODS professional housekeeping staff conducts a deep cleaning and sanitizing equipment, including atomizing spray disinfectant equipment and physical wiping of all surfaces with approved disinfectants. • Wall-mounted, touchless hand sanitizing stations have been affixed through the building. • Social distancing and area capacity throughout the exhibits will be communicated and maintained through signage, maps, floor graphics, staff members and wherever possible. • Several higher-touch and enclosed space exhibits will be closed including: • Simulators and rides. • Interactives that contain small parts and pieces that are not single-use consumables, or not feasible to regularly sanitize.
AUTONATION® IMAX® THEATER A visit to MODS is not complete without screening a documentary in the AutoNation® IMAX® Theater. After reviewing and revising protocols, the IMAX theater is safely operated with all recommended CDC guidelines in place. The educational documentary films shown in the AutoNation® IMAX® Theater average 30 minutes, far less time than the typical 90-120 minute theater experience. The IMAX theater at MODS stands five stories high and is sprawling and spacious, maintaining a lowerrisk environment than many other interior spaces already being reopened such as restaurants and office buildings. MODS’ staff will closely monitor attendance and has full control of entrance and exit, with practiced social distancing strategies in seating. Ample time for cleaning and sanitation of seats, handrails, and armrests has been scheduled between showings. Additionally, the HVAC system has been sanitized and has new filters. The AutoNation IMAX Theater will be reopened with the following protocols: • Capacity in the theater will have seating for 150 people (50% of capacity) to maintain adequate social distancing. • Guests will enter through the main entrance of the Museum and will be queued outside of the theater at intervals of eight (8) feet apart to adhere to physical distancing guidelines. • Upon entry, guests will be seated in every other row with their group. • At the end of the film, guests will exit through the second floor by row. • Additional time will be added between showtimes to allow for a thorough deep clean of the theater using electrostatic cleaning equipment. • Guests must wear masks to enter and exit the theater.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS • Camp Discovery (for children ages 6 through 12; entering grades 1–6) • Reduced group sizes and ratios for physical distancing (10 campers per 1 educator + support counselor). • Campers will be provided with an individual camp kit of supplies for activities. • Campers will be provided with their own storage cubbie. • Birthday Parties • Reduced group sizes of 22 people.
SIGNAGE THROUGHOUT THE MUSEUM Display visible signage and other indicators, such as floor decals, stanchion topper, physical distancing, hand sanitizer stations, mask requirements, ride/exhibit queues, etc. to explain and enforce MODS policies on physical distancing, hand washing and other requirements and recommendations from federal, state and local governing agencies. • Please maintain a safe distance of at least six (6) feet between your group and employees and other guests near you while at MODS. • Infographics with MODS STEM facts for distancing markers. • Redesign and restrict exhibition and playspace floor plans to comply with physical distancing. • Use floor decals to help guests differentiate spaces and signage to regulate capacity per area. • Limited capacity in elevator. • Handwashing, personal hygiene practices and hand-sanitizing stations. • The health and safety of our guests and employees is always a top priority, and our day-to-day cleaning procedures are extensive. Our staff engages in extensive, facility-wide safety and cleaning practices including washing, sanitizing and disinfecting before we open, during the day, and after we close to the public. This is our practice every day at MODS, not just during flu season or when illnesses affect our community. In light of the Coronavirus, we have increased the cleaning and disinfecting that occurs throughout the day at the Museum and will continue to review our procedures and make adjustments as appropriate. • Guests can purchase snacks and drinks in both the Explore Store and Elements Café to be consumed in the Atrium or at Esplanade Park (across the street). • Post signage that states: Inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. Guests to MODS voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. • Onsite Intercom Messaging: • Deploy messaging throughout day to reinforce physical distancing and CDC recommendations.
ADDENDUM 1 This document adds specifics around components of the Welcome Back Plan.
DEFINITION OF CLOSE CONTACT The CDC defines Close Contact as, “Someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two (2) days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two (2) days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. Data are limited to precisely define the “prolonged exposure” to determine “close contact”, however 15 minutes of close exposure can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity, the duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the individual has symptoms (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk) and whether either the case patient or contact were wearing an N95 respirator (which can efficiently block respiratory secretions from contaminating others and the environment). At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended. Brief interactions are less likely to result in transmission; however, symptoms and the type of interaction (e.g., did the person cough directly into the face of the individual) remain important.” 
FACE MASKS COVERINGS AT MODS This section defines when and how a mask or face covering must be worn at MODS for guests and staff. Masks are now considered part of the MODS uniform and must be worn at ALL times at the Museum (if employees are wearing their MODS shirt, then they also are wearing their face mask). The mask may be removed if an employee is actively eating (six (6) feet away from others) or if the employee is the ONLY person in a closed-door office.
UNIFORM INFRACTIONS If an employee is wearing a mask improperly, they will first receive a verbal warning for non-compliance. Second infractions result in a written warning for employee file; followed by suspension and termination for further non-compliance.
ENFORCEMENT Employees are empowered to help enforce MODS policies surrounding masks and social distancing for all. Suggested language on mask enforcement (calm and direct tone of voice): • Staff to Staff, regardless of position on the organizational chart. “Friendly reminder to please wear your mask! We all have to look out for each other.” or “Remember to mask up!” • If non-compliant, please tell a supervisor or leadership immediately. • Staff to Guests, “MODS asks all guests to wear a mask. Thank you for putting on/pulling up your mask.” or “Super scientists wear masks! Remember to keep yours on!” • Staff can adopt a regular habit of proactively complimenting children or families who wear their masks properly as positive reinforcement. 
• If non-compliant, please tell a supervisor or leadership immediately. Be aware that they will be requested to wear a mask and/or the entire group will be asked to leave the premises.
CDC PROTOCOLS FOR STAFF AND GUESTS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: • Wear a face covering correctly. • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering. • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face. • Make sure you can breathe easily.
USE THE FACE COVERING TO PROTECT OTHERS • Wear a face covering to help protect others in case you’re infected but don’t have symptoms. • Wear the covering in public settings when around people outside of your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. • Don’t put the covering around your neck, up on your forehead or on the top of your head. • Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands.
FACE COVERINGS MUST • Fully cover the nose and mouth. • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face. • Be secured with ties, ear loops or headbands.
• Based on guidance from health authorities, single layered neck gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas and face coverings containing valves, holes, mesh, lace or sheer material of any kind are not considered acceptable face coverings therefore prohibited.
NEW RIVER BALCONY PICNIC TABLES Each picnic table can hold one (1) person or one family group to maintain physical distancing at all times. This allows space for the safe consumption of food without a mask.
FOLLOW EVERYDAY HEALTHY HABITS • Stay at least six (6) feet away from others. Avoid contact with people who are sick. • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time. • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html
TEAM MEMBER WITH A POSITIVE TEST RESULT • If someone tests positive, MODS leadership will inform the team of employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality. Employers are prohibited from disclosing the identities of employees who test positive under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). • Each employee will have two (2) days to get tested at a local facility. • During this time and until you are cleared to return to the Museum, if you have the ability to work, you may be called upon to perform your duties remotely or to perform other select duties for the organization that may or may not be within your typical scope of work. • Please be vigilant in checking digital test results online and immediately send them to HR once available.
RESUMING WORK AFTER A SUSPECTED/CONFIRMED CASE Affected employees may return to work when: • Negative Test Result: • Present a copy of the negative test result to human resources for the employee file. • Positive Test Result: • Have had no fever for at least 24 hours without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved for at least three (3) days; AND at least ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms began. • Most do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will notify when to resume being around others based on the test results. • Positive Test Result But No Symptoms: • Continue to have no symptoms for ten (10) days since positive test. If symptoms develop afterwards, follow the guidance above. • Severely Ill or Weakened Immune System: • May require tests to determine when they can return to work and be around others. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information. • Others In Close Contact with Someone with COVID-19 • Should stay home for ten (10) days after their last exposure to that person. However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who: o developed COVID-19 illness within the previous three (3) months and o has recovered and o remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath) DOES NOT need to stay home.
WHEN TO QUARANTINE Stay home if you might have been exposed to COVID-19. • Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department. • Who needs to quarantine: • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19—excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past three (3) months. • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to three (3) months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within three (3) months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms. • What counts as close contact; • You were within six (6) feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19 • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them) • You shared eating or drinking utensils • They sneezed, coughed or somehow got respiratory droplets on you • When to start and end quarantine: • You should stay home for 7 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. • Please visit footnote around others.
to see different scenarios to determine when to end quarantine and be
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SICK? If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms (including cough, trouble breathing), please contact your healthcare provider. • Steps to help prevent the spread include: o Stay home. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. o Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better. o Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. o Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis. o As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom. If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a face mask. o Avoid sharing personal household items (dishes, glasses, cups, utensils, towels and bedding). o Visit the footnote  for additional guidance on living in close quarters, shared housing and COVID-19 and animals, as well as when to safely end home isolation.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus% 2F2019-ncov%2Fif-you-are-sick%2Fquarantine-isolation.html https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
MODS follows the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure that include being tested for COVID-19 if you were closer than six (6) feet to the employee for more than 15 minutes. If it has been fewer than seven (7) days since the sick employee has been in the facility: • Close off areas that have been used by the sick person for long periods of time (e.g. desk or workstation). • Sanitize the affected area. Determining whether or not to close areas of the Museum: • If the positive employee worked in a public part of the Museum, then the Museum will close the impacted area and the staff who were in contact with the positive employee or contractor will be tested and be able to return to work when identified as being COVID-19 free/negative. Additional sanitization will take place throughout all the affected areas.
MEDIA ALERT • A statement will be issued as needed. • All media inquiries will be directed to the only designated spokespersons - Joseph Cox or Andi Fuentes.
Museum of Discovery and Science Welcome Back Plan