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San Diego County museums make changes in preparation for purple tier

Balboa Park Prado Building
Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 20:21:57-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The purple most restrictive tier for coronavirus guidelines goes into effect Saturday forcing many museums around San Diego County to close their doors once again.

"It really wasn't a surprise and when this all first started happening I think we realized that there wasn't going to be a magic date that everything was going to be better," James Haddan, Senior Director of Development and External Communications at the Museum of Us, said they've been anticipating the county's fall back into the purple tier.

"We made some hard choices initially, right away," Haddan said they made difficult cuts to staff at the beginning of the pandemic, hoping to sustain for the next two years.

"It has been extremely difficult for arts and cultural organizations throughout the city and Balboa Park would be no different," Executive Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership Peter Comiskey said.

Comiskey said while many of the museums must close, there are still things to do at the park. The Japanese Friendship Garden, Spanish Village, and restaurants are open.

In La Jolla, the Birch Aquarium is shifting too. They reopened in July and are creating as many exhibits as they can outside. (Here is a list of what you can see and touch for a slightly discounted ticket.)

The aquarium will be adding more activities in the coming weeks.

Back at the park, you can see progress. Caution tape is draped around the park and the sounds of construction echo off the tall historic buildings.

"One of the little tiny silver linings in otherwise what is a dark cloud is a lot of work has been able to be done at Balboa Park," Comiskey said. He adds that the Timken Museum is getting a refresh and the Mingei International Museum is also transforming.

"There is so much happening inside the park that we just know when people can come back and safely visit they will have a wonderful experience," Comiskey said.

He hopes everyone does their part to bring down coronavirus cases so they can reopen as soon as possible.

Museums like the Museum of Us offer educational content and virtual tours online during this time to continue serving the community.