Grand Rapids’ Ford Museum to reopen Oct. 18, with restrictions

Grand Rapids

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — About a month after closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is getting ready to reopen.

Museum officials announced Friday that the venue would welcome back visitors starting Oct. 18, with the following protocols in place:

  • Tickets must be reserved in advance online at https://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/. Tickets will be limited to 50 guests per hour.
  • Masks are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Visitors are encouraged to remain 6 feet apart from other guests.
  • Capacity will be limited in elevators and restrooms.
  • Groups must be limited to six or fewer people.
  • Food and water are prohibited inside galleries.
  • Bags and backpacks are not allowed, but each guest can bring in one purse or diaper bag.

The museum is planning on enhanced cleanings and will provide hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility.

While wheelchairs will be available, guided tours and water fountains will not. The museum’s gift store will also remain closed but offer online sales.

Kent County’s high community transmission level classification from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention triggered the earlier decision to close on Sept. 7.

While the county’s transmission level was still listed as “high” on the CDC’s website Friday, museum director Brooke Clement said “Health and safety remain our highest priorities, and we are confident we can welcome visitors back to a safe museum experience.”

A spokesperson for the museum said many factors were considered before deciding to reopen, and that it will continue monitoring COVID-19, following CDC guidelines and working with public health officials.

The museum’s online ticket sales will restart Oct. 12. The museum will be open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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