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Health and Safety Regarding the COVID-19 Virus

Health and Safety Regarding the COVID-19 Virus

In light of the declaration of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine allowing Ohio cultural institutions to re-open to visitors, Executive Director and Board of Trustees of The Butler Institute of American Art are happy to announce that the museum has re-opened its doors to visitors and is resuming regular visiting hours beginning July 7, 2020.  New exhibitions will be featured upon re-opening and an adjusted program schedule is being planned in-line with state and federal orders and recommendations for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. Admission to the museum and exhibitions remains free. Collections Café and The Butler Museum Store will remain closed until further notice.

The health and safety of museum visitors, staff, and volunteers are of utmost importance to us at The Butler Institute of American Art (The Butler). Though The Butler does not have any corona virus cases connected to the museum, after careful consideration and risk assessment, The Butler will re-open to visitors while providing a low-contact environment with sufficient space for individual visitors to enjoy the art exhibits. Along with the entire American museum community, we are committed to following the recommendations and guidelines of the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ohio Department of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in a proactive manner to continue to prevent the spread of the virus.

The museum had been closed from mid-March through July 7, 2020 due to previous recommendations of state health organizations, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , and World Health Organization (WHO) along with the orders of Governor DeWine that initiated the closures of cultural institutions and shelter-in-place orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Our executive leadership team and special re-opening committee, headed by Ohio infectious disease specialist, Dr. Virginia Dee Banks, has been closely monitoring the pandemic situation and developing procedures and protocols to put in place to ensure the health and safety of the museum’s staff and visitors.


Educational programs and art classes for the rest of the year are postponed or cancelled at this time and will be planned at an appropriate time to comply with public health and safety guidelines and ordinances. Updates will be released and posted to the public via news media, ButlerArt.com, and through Buter social media pages when available.

Programs and events of mass gatherings will remain cancelled until further notice (artist receptions, exhibit opening events, Films on Art, in-person lectures, etc.)

Large tours and school tours will be avoided until further notice


In preparation for reopening to ensure a safe emergence from the pandemic caused closure of the museum, The Butler’s air ducts have been thoroughly and deeply cleaned and the air handling system has been altered to improve the safety of our ventilation – to constantly take in clean air and expel interior air. The Butler will continue proactively assessing the risk of our programs and events in accordance with mandatory state guidelines and ordinances to ensure public health and safety during this existing pandemic situation. The Butler will:

  • Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces extra measures to disinfect contact surfaces and any areas used by visitors and staff, especially restrooms
  • Keep a regular, rigorous cleaning routine of the building
  • Require visitors and staff to wear face masks in accordance with state guidelines
  • Screen body temperature of each individual and screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms upon entering the building.
  • Limit the number of people in the building to enforce safe social distancing.
  • Limit the number of visitors in each gallery to 6 people at a time to enforce safe social distancing protocol.
  • Mark and sign key public areas to indicate safe social distances (ex. Elevators, halls, stairways and restrooms)
  • Provide hand sanitizer and disinfectant in key areas for staff and visitors
  • Provide a work environment for staff that maintains safe social distance requirements
  • Regularly screen the health of employees as per state guidelines
  • Require staff, volunteers and visitors to practice good personal health habits and take every day preventative actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include:
  1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  2. Use sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  5. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  6. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  7. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  8. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  9. Maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others
  10. Require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings unless they are prohibited by law or regulation; in violation of documented industry standards; not advisable for health reasons; in violation of the business’s documented safety policies; or there is a functional/practical reason not to

Our executive leadership team is closely monitoring the situation and will announce any further changes through our website, social media, and/or our phone system, as necessary. For updated information on the COVID-19 situation use the following links: