ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After months of being closed, state-run museums and historic sites are getting the green light to reopen to the public again. “We understand there’s just nothing like actually being at the facility themselves,” said Patrick Rodriguez, with the state’s Cultural Affairs Department. “So we’re excited to open our doors again.”

Private museums have remained open throughout the pandemic. Rodriguez said the governor’s office recognized that disparity and wanted to make sure the public could also enjoy state-run institutions as well, while keeping safety in mind. “They made the determination that these facilities can open safely, making sure all COVID-safe practices are engaged,” said Rodriguez. 

Those COVID-safe practices will certainly be implemented at all museums before they officially reopen. Including at the state’s Museum of Natural History and Science.

“We will have parts of the museum that people can go look at open, some parts of the museum will still be closed,” said Jim Greenhouse, the Space Science Director with the Museum of Natural History and Science. “So the planetarium and the Dino Theatre will not be available. And also not have any interactive exhibits.”

Along with the COVID-safe practices, museums will only be allowed 75 visitors at a time. Which is much smaller than what many of the state’s museums are used to. But Greenhouse said they’re grateful just to be open again. “We’d love to have our museum just crammed packed with people, but we just can’t do that right now,” said Greenhouse. “So we’re very happy just to be allowed to reopen to the public.” 

The first museums to open are the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe which will both open Thursday, Feb. 3.