“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the nation’s #1 science center. It has been a year full of challenges and opportunities emphasizing the critical importance of science and science literacy and we can’t wait to open our doors to everyone, especially the future scientists and leaders of tomorrow who will shepherd us through the next global crisis,” said Dr. Frederic Bertley, COSI President and CEO. “We are thrilled about the availability and uptake of vaccines, and like everyone in the region and nation, look forward to getting beyond this pandemic. While vaccines are readily available, however, we have implemented a number of additional safeguards to ensure our guests feel confident in visiting COSI and have a science, fun-filled experience.”
Among the implemented safeguards, COSI added a new, scientific and technologically advanced UV-C photohydroionization air sterilization system to the building in partnership with Columbus-based Air Force One. UV-C photohydroionization uses ultraviolet light within COSI’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to kill and eliminate germs, viruses, and bacteria. As all things at COSI, this science is cool: within the HVAC system, UV-C light reacts with a catalyst and moisture from the air to produce safe, ionized hydro-peroxide that will now be in the air at COSI. That hydro-peroxide is safe for humans in the air, but not for germs and viruses.
COSI will be open Thursday through Sunday from 10am – 5pm with the following safety protocols in effect:
- All guests, including COSI Members, must reserve an admission ticket online in advance of their visit to ensure adequate space inside COSI for social distancing;
- All COSI Team Members and all guests ages 10+ will be required to wear face coverings while visiting COSI;
- All guests will be encouraged to visit a hand sanitizer station as they enter COSI;
- Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout COSI at high-touch surfaces and near hands-on exhibits;
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols have been put in place to ensure the COSI building and interactive exhibitions remain as clean as possible;
- Due to restricted spaces, some COSI experiences will remain closed for the foreseeable future, including but not limited to, the National Geographic Giant Screen Theater, the Gadgets Stage, the Motion Simulator, the High-Wire Unicycle, the Submarine and the Alvinsphere in the Ocean exhibition, and the Mercury Capsule in the Space exhibition;
- Any guests exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or those who have come into close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days are asked not to visit COSI until they are well.
Though our building has been physically closed due to the pandemic, our organization has been actively open and serving the Central Ohio community and beyond with impactful educational offerings. We have been online with our COSI Connects web portal (https://cosi.org/connects/), which features science activities, videos and virtual COSI exhibit tours. We have been offsite across Ohio with our hands-on Learning Lunchbox and COSI Connects science kit initiatives (https://cosi.org/connects/kits/). We have taken our previously in-person diversity and equity science program, The Color of Science (https://cosi.org/connects/color-of-science.php) online and have been interviewing fantastic guests from across the country on the first Thursday of the month. We have also been gearing up for the third year of the COSI Science Festival, which will be held online again this year from May 5-8 (https://cosiscifest.org/).