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Three local attractions prepare to reopen from COVID-19 closures

Posted at 9:56 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 00:08:28-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Three Corpus Christi attractions, that are popular among tourists and locals alike, have announced their plans to reopen from their COVID-19 forced closures.

The first one to do so will likely be the Texas State Aquarium. The aquarium's president and CEO announced reopening plans for next week at Wednesday's daily COVID-19 press conference at City Hall. Just which day next week hasn't been determined yet.

“I want to let you know that when you do come back to visit the aquarium it will be a different experience," Tom Schmid said. "One of the things that we’ve tried to do is come up with a touchless experience at the aquarium."

They're doing that by putting up barriers between guests and acrylic surfaces like fish tanks, so no one will touch those surfaces and possibly transmit the novel coronavirus.

Initially, the aquarium will also only sell admission tickets online, a move they made not only to avoid person-to-person contact, but also to help them control how many people show up on any given day.

Across the Corpus Christi Ship Channel, the Art Museum of South Texas is also planning to reopen -- but at a slower pace. When it opens June 2, admission will be free all summer long thanks to a donation from the Ed Rachal Foundation.

“We know that art has the power to heal, and so the ability to have people come in here for free (is a blessing)," museum director Sara Morgan said. "And they can use this visit as a healing process.”

Next Friday is when the USS Lexington Museum plans to reopen. The timing couldn't be more perfect -- it's the beginning of Memorial Day weekend.

"We look forward to sharing this historic ship with our guests once again!" Executive Director Steve Banta said in an email.