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Beaufort, Southport Museums to Open

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort. Photo: NC Maritime Museums

Two North Carolina Maritime Museum sites will open to the public next week with some new procedures in place to ensure the safety of staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort, along with its Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, and the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport will both open Thursday.

The new procedures include the following:

  • Limiting visitation at each site.
  • Closing some areas and programs, such as interactive exhibits, group tours and in-person educational programming.
  • Installing hand sanitizer stations and increasing the frequency of cleaning high touch public areas and restrooms.
  • Installing protective barriers at the information desk.
  • Requiring staff and visitors to wear cloth face masks as outlined in Executive Order 163.

“We look forward to welcoming the public back,” Joseph Schwarzer, the director of the N.C. Maritime Museum System, said in a statement. “Things may be a little different than in the past, but the changes we’ve put in place are to prioritize the health and safety of our staff and visitors.”

Operating hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday in Beaufort and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday in Southport. The Museum Store at the Beaufort site is currently open.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras remains closed due to construction at the site and is expected to open Sept. 14.

Museum officials encourage visitors to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services: WEAR a cloth face mask; WAIT in line at least 6 feet away from others; and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness, we ask that you postpone your visit.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.