The Association of African American Museums is closely following the developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local health and government authorities.
Given the current information by the CDC and local government authorities, our upcoming 2020 annual conference events (August 5-8) are expected to be held at their originally scheduled times.
Currently, all AAAM events will continue as scheduled. Our understanding is that events will only be cancelled if mandated by the City of Miami or Federal governments.
As this national and global situation evolves, we will be monitoring the situation carefully and planning for the months ahead. It is simply too soon to predict and we will make an informed and reasoned plan based on the best information available at the time
Information for the Museum Field on the COVID-19/Coronavirus
With the growing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the United States, museums must be well prepared for potential outbreaks as public spaces, employers for over 726,000 individuals, and institutions that hold significant public trust.
The American Alliance of Museums has compiled a guide to help museums prepare internally and externally for outbreaks in their communities. AAM will continue to monitor this evolving situation and update this guidance as needed. These recommendations are not to be taken as legal advice or a definitive answer for any particular museum, but rather as a guide for preparedness for the field. Click below to read more about these resources.
Follow the links below or click “Read more” under the section summaries for expanded guidance.
Directory of Resources
- Educating the public on COVID-19
- Reviewing staff policies and administrative concerns
- Reviewing cleaning and collections care policies
- Preparing for closures
- Preventing spread at public events and programs
- Preparing for COVID-19 as an individual
- Using digital platforms to remain connected to audiences during quarantines
- Other resources
Educating the public on COVID-19
Museums are the most trusted source of information in America, rated higher than local papers, nonprofit researchers, the US government, or academic researchers. Museums can take advantage of this high level of public trust to provide education on COVID-19 and fight misinformation about its spread.
By empowering the public with the information they need to lower their risk of contracting or spreading disease, museums can help sustain healthy communities, maintain calm, and reduce the chances for an increase in discrimination or xenophobia often created by global diseases.
Preparing for COVID-19 as an individual
Individuals can prepare for outbreaks of COVID-19 by regularly monitoring information distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Common-sense preventative measures are highly recommended, including:
- Washing your hands often, with soap, for 20 seconds
- Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Not touching your face—especially your eyes, nose, or mouth—with unwashed hands
- Monitoring your health
- Avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick
- Staying home when you are sick, except to get medical care
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with tissues
- Cleaning high-touch areas of your home and workspace frequently
- Limiting close contact with others as much as possible (at least six feet)
Staying up-to-date on world events
- The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has a Coronavirus Tracker with the current World Health Organization statistics on the virus.
- The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) provides a wealth of information on Coronavirus.
- The online emergency preparedness service, ArtsReady, has developed a resource called Preparing for Potential Impact of the Coronavirus.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) shares Information on Coronavirus can help organizations and individuals prevent infectious diseases and Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak.
Communicating about your museum’s response
- The Association for Children’s Museums (ACM) developed a set of resources to help guide your museum’s response to coronavirus, in recognition of the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). While focused on children’s museums specifically, the guidelines can be utilized by museums of all kinds and include internal protocols, administrative considerations, external actions, and additional resources.
- The Museums Association (UK) has outlined the impact that the novel coronavirus epidemic is likely to have on the museum sector in this helpful blog post titled “Coronavirus: how will it affect museums and what can be done to mitigate the impact?“.
What other museums are doing
- The Museum has prepared a Coronavirus Preparedness Community Document for museums to share information on their planning for Coronavirus.
- For a list of various resources and museum closures see Museum Responses – COVID-19.
- The International Association of Children in Museums has created this free guide for children about the coronavirus called “A curious guide for courageous kids“. It contains the story of the virus that is understandable to children.
- For the latest on how museums are responding, check out the Museum Junction discussion on Coronavirus Considerations.
Preparing for Business Continuity
- Americans for the Arts shares a blog post titled “Arts and Culture Sector Can Prepare for the Coronavirus in the United States.”
- Harvard Business Review (HBR) looks at the legal obligations companies face around coronavirus. And the eight critical questions employers should be asking as they prepare for or respond to the spread of the virus.
- The League of American Orchestras developed a set of resources for its members including a link to some potential funding resources to help should the need arise.
- The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) created “What Business Events Professionals Need to Know About the COVID-19 Coronavirus” to provide reliable information about the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
- The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides resources and advice on dealing with communicable diseases in the workplace, including Coronavirus.
- Tech content company TechRepublic shares how to manage remote project teams during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Follow this discussion on Twitter about what curators can do via telework.
- The U.S. Travel Association provides “Emergency Preparedness and Response: Coronavirus (COVID-19,” a set of resources to help travelers navigate potential health issues while traveling.
- Legal advice firm Venable conducted a webinar on COVID 19 – What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know: Legal Issues Arising from the Novel Coronavirus, which discusses insurance-related issues nonprofits might face as well as a workflow to determine whether or not to cancel events.