Plan your museum’s COVID-19 response according to three scenarios

The American Alliance of Museums has created three potential scenarios of how the coronavirus pandemic might affect a museum. The scenarios list responses and actions for museums located in a low, medium and high risk community. Each scenario comes with guidance on how they can be used as a tool to map the way forward.

You can find each scenario on the website of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). AAM recommends that the scenarios should be discussed within the team, either through telecommunication tools or in person if possible, to workshop different scenarios and make a plan of appropriate actions and response.

Once you settle for a possible scenario, you are recommended to monitor certain key indicators to see if the scenario you have foreseen seems to become reality. For example, you might monitor:

  • Reported incidents of COVID-19 in your city or region
  • Announcements or declarations by government officials (local, state, or federal)
  • Closures or program cancellations by local organizations, including other cultural organisations, schools, and houses of worship
  • Internal metrics—admissions, sales, program registrations
  • Inquiries from concerned visitors
  • Self-reporting by staff regarding potential exposure to COVID-19

You may want to create a calendar of key dates and decisions that need to be made, for example:

  • Go/no go decisions on events
  • Deadlines for cancelling contracts or reservations with the least financial penalty
  • Legal obligations for the fulfilment of contracts or grants

 AAM also recommends that you consider and plan for the health and well-being of your staff and already explore the financial impact of COVID-19 and identify measures to handle it.