The following was published by The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center on March 23th.
After further discussion with staff and the community, we are making some changes to our COVID-19 policies here at Foxfire. As we’ve previously stated, we are monitoring the policies of the state park systems and, thus, have adjusted our policy accordingly.
Our goal in changing these policies is to 1) be safe and heed the warnings of the CDC and other health professionals while 2) providing a service to the community. The general consensus among these professionals is that outdoor exercise is good and safe as long as people avoid close contact with others by practicing social distancing.
This past weekend there were reports of state parks flooded with people trying to get outside and enjoy the weather, making safe, social distancing more difficult. So, in order to avoid that issue, we are taking some new, stricter measures on visits to Foxfire.
Beginning today, we are closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays. Furthermore, the gift shop will be closed indefinitely to visitors, but we will continue to take and ship online orders.
Starting Wednesday, we will be taking appointments for visits to the museum Wednesday - Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm, spaced out no less than 45 minutes apart. Those folks making appointments can pay over the phone by credit card or can bring cash and place it in the lockbox on the gift shop porch. There will be guide books set outside, limited to no more than two per group. The rate for admission will be a flat $5/person rate, and we are still allowing free admission for kids 12 and under and will have activity bags set out for those children.
With these measures in place, we believe we can dramatically lower the risk of folks interacting. With appointments spaced out at 45-minute intervals, there should be no interaction between groups (the self-guided tour generally takes 1.5 hours). We are also encouraging folks not to touch the surfaces in the museum.
We thank you all for your understanding in these hard times. We encourage everyone to stay at home as much as possible. For those doing so, we will continue to provide digital content, including virtual tours, how-to videos, podcasts, and the like. Thank you.