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The San Antonio Museum of Art is glad it kept mask requirements

Visitors in the galleries of the San Antonio Art Museum. Courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art

Coronarivus cases in the state of Texas are surging. The rapid rise in cases and waning hospital space have caused Gov. Greg Abbott to scale back the state's plans for reopening. The reopening plan overall has been put on pause and bars and river-rafting business have been told close again. Most business that were already open can continue operation. The San Antonio Museum of Art reopened its doors at the end of May and is continuing to receive visitors.

Emily Sano, the co-interim director of the museum, said the staff created an internal task force back in March to help ensure a safe reopening of the museum for staff and visitors.

Emily Sano, co-interim director of the San Antonio Museum of Art and senior advise r for Asian art. (Courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art)

When the task force was deciding on its guidelines and rules for reopening, it debated its rule on masks.

"The governor announced early on that masks were not required," Sano explained. That announcement caused the task force to reconsider whether they should loosen the language from "required" to "recommended."

Ultimately, Sano said, the team decided to stick with its original plan to require masks. Watching COVID-19 case numbers climb in the state around her, she said they are "glad now, in retrospect," that they "kept the requirement" in place. If visitors do come without a mask, they are provided with one by the museum.

Museum staff informed Marketplace Monday morning that "leadership at the museum is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to evaluate based on new information and guidance from city and state officials."

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