Saskatchewan Science Centre temporarily closed as coronavirus spread continues

The Saskatchewan Science Centre announced it is closing to the public as concerns around public safety continue with regards to COVID-19. 

Some staff will remain in the building to care for animals on site

The Saskatchewan Science Centre CEO says the decision was made along with science centres across the country. (Michael Bell/The Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan Science Centre announced it is temporarily closing to the public, as the COVID-19 outbreak causes concerns around public safety.

The science centre, the Kramer IMAX Theatre and the gift shop will all remain closed to the public as of Saturday. 

Sandy Baumgartner, the CEO of Regina science centre, says the decision was made in consultation with other members of the Canadian Association of Science Centres.

She says that as of Friday, many centres in the association had made, or were about to make, decisions to close.

Although this is a move for public safety, she says it also serves as an educational opportunity. 

"Doing our part as a leader in science learning and education in our community, we thought it was really important that we demonstrate the importance of contributing to the matters that have to be addressed to prevent this virus to spread."

While the building will be fairly quiet, Baumgartner says some staff will remain at the centre to look after the animals housed there.

The centre houses many animals that will remain in the building with staff to care for them. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Some staff who will be working from home are also looking to continue teaching science in the digital space. 

"We have an active and engaged programming staff that will be able to look at opportunities to bring some of our programming online, and still do some of the activities," she said. That may involve working through Facebook Live or other webcasting. 

"But we think that we can certainly continue to do our important science education and communication role in the community."

Baumgartner says the science centre will monitor the situation on an hour-by-hour, day-by-day basis. Its plan is to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.