COVID-19 Pandemic Precautions

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Branch Museum of Architecture and Design has developed the following procedures to help protect our visitors, tenants, and staff from transmission of this disease.

This information will be reviewed and updated as new information comes to light and in response to any action required by local, state, or national authorities.

The Branch House may be subject at any time to restrictions limiting attendance at public and private guidelines issued by local, state, or national authorities.  The Branch will enforce these restrictions as ordered.  Rental clients are encouraged to plan their events with this possibility in mind

Branch Museum Preventative Measures

The Branch Museum has instituted the following preventative measures, which will continue to be enforced after the Branch Museum opens to the public.

  • Signage: Signage has been placed throughout the building advising hand washing procedures and COVID-19 safety recommendations.  Signage has been placed at the entrances advising all visitors of requirements for entering the Branch House.Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the building.
  • Waste Receptacles: Step-on, self-closing trash cans have been placed in the restrooms and throughout the building.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing: 
    • High-touch surfaces throughout the building will be cleaned and sanitized frequently throughout the day, at least every 2 hours.  These surfaces include door handles, railings, elevator buttons, light switches, kitchen and restroom surfaces, and trash can lids.
    • Rental and program spaces shall be cleaned and sanitized before and after the program.

Staff Safety Procedures

Branch Museum staff will be following these procedures for their safety and for that of tenants and visitors:

  • Daily Personal Health Screening: Branch employees will conduct a daily self screening check to confirm they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.  At the beginning of a work shift, all staff must confirm that they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms by signing a Daily Screening Log.
  • Washing Hands: All staff will wash hands immediately upon entering the workplace.  All staff will wash hands at the beginning and end of their shifts, and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, cleaning, smoking, eating, drinking, accepting items from a guest (ID, cash, credit card, keycard), taking a break, and as needed throughout the shift.  Staff are encouraged to wash hands.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Employees are encouraged to use hand sanitizer throughout the day.
  • Personal Hygiene: Employees must cover their mouth or nose with a tissue or elbow when coughing or sneezing; used tissues must be immediately thrown away and employees must wash their hands as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Face Coverings: All staff shall wear face masks or faceshields when entering the building, using or passing through a common area, using a meeting room or rented space, when in a tenant space, or interacting with a visitor, tenant or third party renter.  Each staff member shall debrief their guest for COVID 19 prior to entering the Branch House grounds or touching any Branch House surface, and require their guests to a wear a face mask outside of the staff member’s office.  Employees meeting with guests or tenants in their offices, tenant spaces, or meeting rooms may remove their masks only if all those present grant permission.  Employees sharing office space with a coworker may remove their mask only if the coworkers grants permission.
  • Gloves: All staff shall wear disposable gloves when interacting with visitors or with third party rental guests.
  • Social Distancing: All staff shall practice social distancing standards of maintain a six feet distance between individuals and groups when interacting with tenants, visitors in the Museum Galleries, or with third party rental guests

Visitor Requirements

  • By order of the Commonwealth of Virginia, all visitors entering the Branch House must wear masks or face coverings.  Children under the age of 10, and people with medical conditions or religious beliefs that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt from this requirement. 
  • All visitors entering the building must practice social distancing standards of maintaining 6 feet between groups. 
  • Capacity will be reduced to provide guests space to socially distance. In some cases, pre-registration/timed tickets may be required