Health & Safety | Response to COVID-19

Health & Safety Policies

New policies and procedures are in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors and staff.

Our museums have implemented extensive health and sanitation measures:

  • Masks are required at all times inside the museums.
  • 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.
  • We strongly encourage all visitors and staff to practice social distancing (at least six feet apart) at all times. Visitor capacity has been capped below the recommended 50% occupancy to ensure social distancing and visitor safety.
  • Staff members are required to wear masks and plexiglass shields are installed at areas of frequent contact between staff and visitors alike, including the admissions counters and museum shop counter areas.
  • 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 patrons.
  • Staff members have been trained to ensure that the correct products are utilized and that sanitizing products are applied according to the label and used effectively. Staff responsible for cleaning and sanitizing the facility will be wearing appropriate PPE for cleaning and sanitizing.
  • 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 Dec. 11, 2020

Additional Meadowcroft Information

Social distancing and masks are required in indoor spaces, including the Rockshelter enclosure, while it remains a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health. Masks are required in Meadowcroft’s outdoor spaces when in close proximity with staff and other visitors.

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 currently open only on Saturdays and Sundays. Fresh wraps and sandwiches from Common Plea are available for purchase.

From Sunday to Friday, visit the Museum Shop’s snack bar to purchase a limited selection of snacks and drinks.

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!