COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant threat that may continue for months or years until a vaccine is developed. As long as the virus is in our community, the possibility of spread exists, particularly to our most vulnerable populations. 

After closing March 16 to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Chippewa Valley Museum developed a phased reopening plan. This plan recognizes the ongoing risk of the virus while establishing procedures to reduce the risk to those in the museum's buildings. This reopening plan has been reviewed and approved by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department. Parts of this plan may change as new information and recommendations are presented, and Chippewa Valley Museum is prepared to adapt the plan. Updates will be posted and dated.

Below is an outline of the plan. This page also has general health and safety procedures that have been put into place to reduce risk and help keep visitors, members, volunteers, staff, and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

All phases

prevention reminders

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into an elbow 
  • Put distance -- at least 6 feet --  from others outside your household
  • Wear masks when it is not possible to keep physically distant from others
  • Avoid others who are sick

Health Screening 

  • Front entrance signage will ask visitors if they have any symptoms of COVID-19: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills or muscle aches, or congestion or runny nose.
  • Guests will not be admitted if they show signs of these symptoms.
  • Staff and volunteers will self-monitor symptoms and not come into building if they exhibit symptoms.
  • Staff and volunteers will review a health screening checklist each time they come to work. Those that have symptoms will be sent home.


  • A sanitizing cleaning solution approved to kill coronavirus and cloth will be used to wipe down high-touch surfaces during the day and when museum closes. Solution will be changed 1 - 2x daily depending upon visitor traffic.
  • High-touch surfaces cleaned every 30-60 minutes 
  • Shared spaces will be cleaned between shifts using cleaning solution

Phase I:

June 17 - mid-July

  • Paid staff at front desk only, no volunteers
  • Guests asked to wash hands or use hand sanitizer (provided) at entry
  • Guests and staff are to maintain minimum 6 feet distance - social distancing reminders will be posted throughout building
  • Face coverings required for guests and staff. Disposable masks available for those who do not have their own face covering
  • Limited capacity: 9 per group, no more than 50 in the building at one time
  • One-way traffic through exhibits
  • History Quest exhibit closed
  • Majority of hands-on activities in exhibits removed
  • Displays with push buttons have a hand sanitizer station. Guests asked use hand sanitizer before and after touching buttons.
  • Minimum number of employees on site
  • Spaces that continue to be closed: Log House, Sunnyview School House, Ice Cream Parlor, meeting rooms, Museum Store (online store is available)

Phase 2: 


Same restrictions and procedures as above, except:
  • Volunteers and/or staff work Visitor Services, starting July 19
  • Admission numbers raised to 10 per group, no more than 100 in the building at one time
  • History Quest children's gallery opened with textile items removed, one household at a time
  • Log House and School House viewing available by pre-arrangement
  • Museum Store available for one family group at a time
  • Ice Cream Parlor open for take-out orders, available Saturday afternoons starting August 1

Phase 3: 

Step E in  Eau Claire City-County Health Dept. RESPOND TOGETHER EAU CLAIRE Plan

Same restrictions and procedures as above, except:
  • Full staff works on site
  • Easily cleaned hands-on interactives added back to exhibits., Hand sanitizer made available near hands-on items
  • Building capacity increased to 250
  • Ice Cream Parlor open for limited indoor seating
  • Meetings rooms available for groups with limited capacity. Masks for larger groups encouraged. 

Phase 4:

 Eau Claire City-Council Health Department lifts restrictions

Chippewa Valley Museum returns to pre-pandemic experience, except
Guests encouraged to wash hands or sanitize upon entry

    Calf is doing her part to protect visitors

    Front desk plexiglass barrier