Exact opening timelines for the museums in the Tacoma Museum District continue to hang in the balance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but several are beginning to eye a reopening as new virus cases in Tacoma decline.

According to a statement from the Tacoma Museum district, the directors of the district’s entities (Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and LeMay – America’s Car Museum) recently met with Anthony Chen, director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, to hear his agency’s perspective on local COVID-19 transmission rates and trends. The findings: Tacoma remains a hot spot in Washington but is heading in the right direction, with new COVID-19 cases declining.

Given the findings, the museums have chosen to stay “paused” for now as they continue to monitor local conditions on a daily basis. They are, however, also preparing to reopen. The reopening timeline will be different for each museum based on the layout of individual buildings, staffing configurations, financial models, and exhibition styles.

Due to the highly interactive nature of the playscapes at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, a reopening is unlikely to happen until next year, for example. On the other hand, museums with fewer touchable exhibitions or activities will reopen sooner. Each museum will post updates on its website and its social media platforms to alert the public to individual opening timelines.

When the museums do reopen, new safety precautions like universal mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing stations throughout the facilities, one-way routes through the galleries, and enhanced cleaning schedules will be in place.