How does the Discovery Center maintain a clean, safe environment for visitors?
The cleaning and infection control procedures in place at the Discovery Center are based on our strict internal guidelines as well as the safety guidelines and requirements issued by local health experts and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This information is subject to change.
Cleaning and Infection Control Procedures
- Masks covering the mouth and nose are required inside the Discovery Center for visitors age 2 and up in accordance with recommendations from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Entry signage reminds visitors to stay home if they feel unwell. Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing.
- Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the museum.
- Some exhibits have been modified. All plush toys have been replaced with plastic or vinyl items that can be fully sanitized.
- All high touch surfaces and restrooms are sanitized regularly using an aqueous ozone device or appropriate medical-grade cleansers.
- Hand washing education materials are provided in all restrooms in both English and Spanish.
- Staff are required to stay at home if they feel ill and wash hands upon arrival. Staff are required to wear masks.
What tools are used to clean the Discovery Center?
At the Discovery Center, we love using science to beat the microbes that can make us sick! Here are the primary tools we use to clean the museum in addition to safe, quality commercial cleaning products.
- Soap and water: The very best way to prevent illness is handwashing with soap and water! Staff wash hands upon arrival and regularly throughout the day, and visitors are encouraged to do the same.
- Aqueous Ozone: High touch surfaces are cleaned using aqueous ozone, which is created using air, water and electricity. When ozone is infused in water, it produces a strong, safe cleaner that destroys microbes. A special fill station at the museum passes water through an electric charge, separating molecules to produce aqueous ozone.
- Dry Hydrogen Peroxide: Some exhibits are sanitized by Dry Hydrogen Peroxide (DHP) systems. DHP works using a clever disguise! The DHP molecule has a structure similar to a water molecule. Since all microbes (like viruses and bacteria) require water to live, they meet the DHP molecule in the air and on surfaces and attach themselves. Once attached, DHP breaks down the microbe’s outer cell membrane leading to its destruction.
- UV Light Sanitizing Bags: When you see staff putting small toys, like play food, into something that looks like a lunch bag, they’re not packing a meal! Special UV light sanitizing bags are used to destroy the outer protein of microbes, leaving toys sanitized and ready for play.
What information does the Discovery Center use to make decisions about policies?
You can count on us to follow recommendations from experts in public health and child development. We are in regular communication with or carefully studying recommendations from:
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)
- The Shawnee County Health Department
- State and local officials
- Other children's museums from around the country and the world
- Surveys of our visitors and members
Many of these organizations also provide valuable information on talking with children about COVID-19. Check out our resource page to learn more. Our reopen task force, which includes local physicians, makes the final decisions on our infection control measures.