Health & Safety | Response to COVID-19

Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the Heinz History Center has consistently followed guidelines established by the CDC, state, and local health officials to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In accordance with guidelines recently announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the History Center and its family of museums will no longer require visitors and staff to practice social distancing or wear masks as of June 28, 2021.

Although mask-wearing is optional, visitors and staff who are unvaccinated or who otherwise choose to wear a mask are encouraged to do so.


Health & Safety Policies

Our museums have implemented extensive health and sanitation measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors and staff:

  • The History Center utilizes high-efficiency MERV-13 filters that screen out airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns in diameter. Our filter systems, which rival hospital-grade systems, capture 99.97% of airborne particulates, well above the level of an N-95 mask, and supply an air change rate (ACR) of 8.5 per hour, or approximately once every seven minutes.
  • Daily capacity will continue to be monitored to ensure visitor safety.
  • Sanitation supplies, such as disinfecting wipes, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, etc. are readily available for added use by patrons and placed throughout the museums. Masks are available for interested patrons.
  • High-touch points (door handles, countertops, elevator buttons, etc.) are cleaned and sanitized hourly.
  • Restrooms are cleaned multiple times per day.
  • Contactless payment methods, such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, are available for visitor use at the Admissions Desk and our Museum Shop.

Updated June 27, 2021

Designated Hours for High-Risk Visitors

To help protect high-risk members of our community, the Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum will designate every Thursday from 10 a.m. to Noon as special hours for visitors age 62 and older, visitors with disabilities, or those who are immunocompromised.  During these hours, the museums will focus on providing a comfortable experience for these vulnerable guests. The museums will open to the general public at Noon on Thursdays. While visitor services staff will not be checking IDs for age confirmation, we ask that other guests respect these dedicated hours.

Café and Refreshments

The Café at the History Center is open daily and serves up fresh wraps and sandwiches from Common Plea.

History at Home

Virtual visitors can explore an array of online offerings on the museum’s History at Home page, which includes links for virtual exhibit tours, activities for kids, historic photos, fun videos, fascinating blogs, and so much more.

Be sure to check out our events page to register for our upcoming virtual programs.

And don’t forget to sign up for our Making History e-newsletter, featuring fresh history content and up-to-date information on our family of museums.

We thank you for your patience and continued support of the Heinz History Center – the Smithsonian’s home in Pittsburgh!