MOCA now requires improved face coverings: no fabric masks
The Museum of Contemporary Art has a new dress code. No more rag, that is, masks.
On Tuesday, MOCA announced that it had updated its mask policy. The museum now requires all visitors to wear surgical masks, N95, KF94 or KN95 inside its Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary locations.
“Cloth masks are no longer acceptable,” MOCA said on Twitter.
The new policy raises the bar for museum safety in Los Angeles.
As Omicron continues to increase – with LA County reporting 266,000 new cases of coronavirus in the past week alone, bringing the total number of infections in the region to over 2 million – MOCA has estimated that its current mask policy does not was not up to the task. The museum has required visitors to wear masks indoors since it reopened in May. And in mid-December, California ordered a statewide mask mandate to go into effect for all indoor public spaces until at least February 15.
But the quality of the masks varies, with loose fabric face covers being among the least effective, according to the California Department of Public Health.
“We made the decision last week to require all staff and visitors to wear medical grade masks,” said Catherine Arias, director of education and visitor engagement at MOCA. “We were watching a lot of new research on the relative effectiveness of different types of masks, and public health officials across the country and the world have said that with Omicron, what you really need is to ‘a medical grade mask. . “
Gaiters are also a no-no. “Cloth masks, neck warmers, open chin triangular bandanas and face covers containing valves, mesh or holes of any kind are not acceptable,” MOCA said on Instagram.
MOCA did not do any other updates to its COVID security policies. It still requires visitors to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours, and it is still operating at 75% of capacity.
The museum is not worried about the more restrictive mask policy which could potentially deny visitors.
“I feel like the public has moved with us,” Arias says, “adapting to public health guidelines as they continue to evolve. “
So what will MOCA do with all those limited-edition fabric masks, designed by nine artists – including Pipilotti Rist, Virgil Abloh, Catherine Opie and Yoko Ono – that sell for $ 28 in their gift shop?
“MOCA masks are always available through the MOCA store, both online and in person, and every purchase directly supports MOCA,” Arias said. “Often our staff and visitors will overlay a surgical mask with a fabric mask, like those designed by artist MOCA, to add a cool touch and personal style.”
“We just want as many people as possible to benefit from the museum,” she adds, “and the best way to do that is to protect people. “