Sick Policy

The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum works to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all our guests. Towards this end, we request the following “Sick Person Policy” be followed by our guests, our staff and our volunteers at all times.

As a general rule:  if you or your child have a fever or are too sick to go to work or school, then you are too sick to visit the museum.

The following guidelines are more specific and we request that visitors with these symptoms not visit the museum:

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms (headache, high fever, chills, lethargy, muscle aches, cough, sore throat)
  • Upper respiratory infections (cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, scratchy throat, painful swallowing, watery eyes – with or without fever)
  • Cold symptoms (a fresh sneezy and runny cold)
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” infection
  • Impetigo (infectious skin disease which shows up as small pimples that turn into red blisters in a circular pattern)
  • Lice
  • Strep Throat (child must be on antibiotics for 48 hours before coming to the museum.)
  • Any of the following contagious diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, roseola, and chicken pox. Children with chicken pox may not come until all of the sores are crusted and there are no new eruptions.

Staff may be called upon to identify the following symptoms and to ask a visitor to leave if symptoms are present. If a visitor is asked to leave, free passes to return will be given to the visitor.


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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Preparedness at MHCM


As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) begins to have increased impact across our region, we feel it is important to share the steps MHCM is taking to help keep guests, our staff and our volunteers safe and healthy.

As is always the case at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, the health and safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers remains our highest priority.  Coronavirus is a rapidly evolving situation, and is one we are monitoring closely.


What is MHCM doing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus / COVID-19?

CLEANING As a facility that caters to children and families, we are proud of the cleanliness of our museum and work hard to employ stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocols on a daily basis. We contract with an outside cleaning service for daily deep cleans of all public spaces, and museum staff regularly disinfects all hard surfaces, exhibits and toys throughout the day while we are open.

Over the past few weeks we have increased the frequency and extent of our cleaning.  You will notice even more hand sanitizing stations and Lysol wipes located throughout the museum for your use, as well as more “Sticky Yucky” bins to collect toys needing immediate cleaning. To ensure sufficient stock of cleaning supplies, we pre-ordered a 3-month supply of cleaning and disinfecting products.

SICK POLICY.  We ask that all guests, staff and volunteers adhere to the museum’s SICK POLICY (See Above)

If you, or someone in your household, are not feeling well we ask that you please do not visit the museum at this time.  Similarly, we are requiring that our staff and volunteers stay home if they are not feeling well.  Please be advised that individuals showing any of the symptoms outlined in our Sick Policy will be asked to leave the museum.

(New) Daily Occupancy Limit.  To be in compliance with the New York State Governor Cuomo’s newly announced limit n public gathering, beginning Saturday, March 14, MHCM will be capping museum occupancy to 250 individuals at any given time.

INFORMED DECISION-MAKING. All of these practices and our business decisions are informed by guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as our state and local government and public health agencies.

As a nonprofit organization that serves families of all backgrounds, our goal is to provide uninterrupted access to our museum resources. We are prepared to continue monitoring and making the necessary adjustments to meet the demands of the moment and the needs of our museum community.

Facts About Coronavirus / COVID-19


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing.

Who is most susceptible to Coronavirus / COVID-19 infection?

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.  According to the CDC, children with confirmed COVID-19 generally present with mild symptoms (fever, runny nose, cough), and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.  (Source: World Health Organization)

What Measures Can You Take to Protect Yourself and Your Family?
  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands by washing them with soap and water or by rubbing them with an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene.  Cough into your elbow (not your hands) or a tissue.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home (door handles, faucets, light switches, remotes, etc).
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
What should you do if you feel sick?

If you are not feeling well and have cold or flu symptoms do not go to work or school (…or visit the museum!)

CALL your primary physician before visiting the doctor’s office to limit potential exposure to yourself or others.

If your illness is serious or life threatening, go to the Emergency Department. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (dry cough, fever, shortness of breath) should head to the ER but remain in their vehicle and have someone alert staff to prevent potential exposure.

To limit exposure and to allow Emergency Medical personnel to respond to true emergencies, please do not go to the ER with non-urgent matters. Instead, go to an Urgent Care or contact your primary care doctor.

Is COVID-19 in our area?

There are no confirmed cases in Dutchess County at this time.