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San Diego Air & Space Museum To Close Saturday Due To Pandemic Restrictions

Visitors tour the San Diego Air & Space Museum on its reopening day, June 12,...

Photo by John Carroll

Above: Visitors tour the San Diego Air & Space Museum on its reopening day, June 12, 2020.

After reviewing options provided by the state of California regarding the coronavirus epidemic, the San Diego Air & Space Museum will close beginning Saturday, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Because of higher case numbers, San Diego County now sits in the purple tier of the state's four-tier coronavirus monitoring system, the most restrictive state rating. Many nonessential businesses will be required to move to outdoor-only operations. These include restaurants, family entertainment centers, wineries, places of worship, movie theaters, museums, gyms, zoos, aquariums and cardrooms.

Listen to this story by John Carroll.

Amusement parks are closed. Bars, breweries and distilleries will be able to remain open as long as they are able to operate outside and with food on the same ticket as alcohol.

"We continue to highlight our internal/daily COVID-19 health safety protocols as the gold standard, in conformance with the CDC, the state of California and San Diego County," the museum's David Neville said.

"Accordingly, our staff looks forward to reopening at the soonest opportunity and is continuing efforts to work with the county and state to use valid science doing so. The plan must always be to create safe reopening options as soon as possible," he added.

Reported by John Carrol

Museum President and CEO Jim Kidrick told KPBS that a one-size-fits-all approach to deciding what businesses can stay open just doesn't work.

“Not every structure is the same, not every organization is the same,” Kidrick said. “It was a challenging decision ... we don’t necessarily believe in it but we’re gonna stick with our community and that’s very, very important to us.”

According to Neville, the recent dialogue associated with a safe reopening "is critical to our community businesses. And, doing it right is vital to our success as a nation.

"We must identify, and correct those areas of concern and reopen those organizations we highlight through science and data as not contributing to COVID-19 spread," Neville said. "The credibility of safely reopening is an unwritten mandate."

Neville said the museum looks forward to "continued county efforts on our behalf, and on behalf of every business and citizen hurt by this pandemic. We're in it together and embrace absolute safety when it comes to staff and guests, just as we always have."

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