Considerations Early in the Reopening of Facilities in the USA

A joint ZAHP Fusion Center and American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV)  document

As the nation begins to awaken from weeks of quarantine, a list of considerations and trends in new procedures has been collected for your viewing pleasure.  This represents information gathered from news articles, various list serves and, in some cases, detailed opening plans that are very institutionally specific.  These are not to be considered ‘best practices’ as what is appropriate for one facility may not be at all a best practice for another.  The considerations that were cited most frequently are noted in red.  AAZV and the ZAHP Fusion Center are aware of a study that will include zoo and aquariums in a more scientific review at a later date.

Several common themes emerged during the review of these materials:

  1. Phase design- many facilities have stated that they are following the guidelines with the re-opening Phases that have been developed state-by-state, and have tailored their protocols accordingly. Some states classify facilities as ‘entertainment’ while other states classify facilities as ‘parks’ and there appears to be differences in how this classification relates to re-opening.
  2. Cleaning and Disinfection-there is a heavy emphasis on citing changes in cleaning and disinfection protocols. It was cited several times that staff is being brought back for this specific purpose, and new protocols have been added to keep work areas and public contact areas as clean as possible.
  3. Masks– Masks, and requirements for them varies tremendously. Some examples are cited below.
  4. Signage– There will be a heavy emphasis on signage to direct traffic flow, hygiene principles, or other new protocols to protect the public.
  5. Social Distancing– is heavily relied upon for staff and visitors.

Click here to view the full document