Evaluating and documenting maximum capacity

The American Bookbinders Museum (ABM) is a small, open-plan museum open to the public Wednesday – Saturday from 10am – 4pm. The public area is all on the ground floor; a primary exhibit area of roughly 2500 square feet with 20’ ceilings; there is an additional gallery space of roughly 250 square feet with 10’ ceilings. Private administration area on the mezzanine above the gallery includes the office, which is open to the exhibit floor below, and an enclosed, environmentally controlled collection storage room. There are four individual restrooms (two are wheelchair accessible). The normal capacity is 55 persons including staff. Under the SFDPH Yellow Tier we cap the total occupancy of the entire museum at  persons including staff. Pre-Pandemic our typical visitorship was between 10-20 persons a day, with an average visit duration of 1 1/2 hours in the course of a 6-hour business day.

Aside from restrooms, the one “enclosed” space in the public area is the gallery, has two large doorways. In addition to keeping the two doors open to increase airflow throughout the room, we will cap occupancy in the gallery to 6 persons (or 3 household groups). Signage will state the capacity of the room.

Upstairs, the office is open to the museum floor. There is a collection storage room which is climate-controlled with its own HVAC for the protection of the materials stored there.

Signage Requirements

ABM Social Distancing Protocol is posted  at the entrance (Clementina Street) to the museum and Folsom Street exit.

Signage from the Covid Outreach Toolkit targeting the public (Masks Required, Social Distancing, Hand-washing) is posted on the door at the Clementina Street entrance and Folsom Street exit. These posters are multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino). Additional reminders for masks and 6ft social distancing are  posted at the entry (next to a dispenser for hand sanitizer) and on the admissions desk (see floorplan, attached).

Signage for handwashing, and for closing the toilet lid before flushing to reduce aerosolization of bacteria/viruses, are in each bathroom by the sink/mirror.
In the administration area signage reminds personnel of mask requirements and social distancing, particularly on the stairway, which is the only means of access to the office.

Ensuring personnel and patrons wear face coverings at all times, unless specifically exempted from doing so

All personnel are required to wear face masks at all times (except when eating or drinking). We provide disposable face masks to all staff, but they are permitted to wear their own cloth masks, so long as the masks are laundered after each use. If an employee arrives for work without a mask one is provided to them. Currently we have no staff with medical conditions which exempt them from mask rules. Any vendors or service persons on site are required to adhere to the mask policy; a mask is provided if a guest arrives without one.

Masks are required of all guests over the age of 2 years old. This requirement appears on the admissions page of our website, in the text on the ticket-purchase portal, on the receipt email that advance ticketholders receive; and on signage at the door and admission desk.

A guest who arrives without a face covering is provided with one. If the guest declines to wear a mask they are refused admission; their ticket price is refunded.


Ticketing booths and payment systems

We offer and encourage the purchase of tickets online. We also sell tickets at the admissions desk upon arrival.

Any guest who is unable to visit the museum due to COVID symptoms can choose to reschedule their visit or to receive a refund.

We have a Plexiglass barrier between the staff member at the admissions desk and the guests. Floor marking clearly indicates social distance for guests in queue or while purchasing tickets. We accept credit cards—the swiping mechanism is on the guest-side of the barrier, so that staff does not have to touch the card, for both visitor and staff safety. Unfortunately, the ticketing software we work with is not currently compatible with contactless hardware.

We also accept cash; the staff member at the admissions desk has nitrile gloves provided to use while on duty, specifically for working with cash.
Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance to the museum, on the guests’ side of the admissions desk barrier, in the gift shop, and on the staff side of the admissions desk.

The admissions area is cleaned and disinfected as needed, but no less than twice a day.


Personnel safety precautions

Prior to reopening, staff will receive a copy of the Health and Safety Plan, which they will review and sign.

Social distancing, masks, hand-washing and hand sanitizer use are required. Signage is be posted to remind staff of these requirements.

Prior to reopening, all staff will have been vaccinated.  Staff will receive training on COVID-19 and the Museum’s protocols, and each staff member will complete the C19 Personnel Screening Form. Thereafter, each staff member must complete an online Daily Health Assessment Form before coming to work. The Worksite Safety Officer will review these forms daily.

Signage will remind staff of one-at-a-time use, and to wipe down shared equipment such as printers with disinfecting wipes.
In the kitchen, all flatware and service items are off-limits. Staff should bring (and take home) their own, or use disposable cups, plates, and flatware as needed.

In the office all workstations are at least 6ft apart. Sanitizing wipes and other disinfecting materials are available in the office to clean printers; staff is required to clean their own workstations at least once a day.

Use of the kitchen is limited to one person at a time. Where possible, there should be no more than one person in the program storage room on the first floor, and no more than two in the collection storage room.


HVAC Systems

The museum’s HVAC utilizes (4) split AC systems (Heat Pumps & Fan Coils); each supplying 1,600 CFM of air and with 300 CFM of outside air (18.75%), as well as MERV 13 filtration in all air handling units in the building. The four restrooms vent directly to the outside.

Additionally, the collection storage room has its own climate-controlled system which maintains the temperature and humidity at a level to preserve the collection items stored there.

Because of our small size and relatively modest means, we are not currently planning upgrades to our HVAC system. The system receives quarterly maintenance, and has been serviced prior to opening to the public.


Food and beverage concessions

The ABM does not offer food or beverages.



Our small retail area has been reconfigured to promote one-direction movement. Floor signage delineates 6-foot social distancing “zones” for use while examining merchandise in the store. Two separate chairs are available; these chairs are regularly disinfected.

No trying on of apparel is permitted.

Hand sanitizer is available, and guests are requested to use it prior to handling any merchandise.


Social distancing in elevators

ABM does not have an elevator.


Monitoring and limiting patrons to ensure physical distancing between members of different households

Staff monitors congestion on the exhibit floor and reminds guests not to congregate around any particular exhibit.

Floor signage promotes 6-foot social distancing “zones” and route-of-travel through the museum and exhibits.

Signs are be posted  reminding patrons to preserve the 6-foot distance. In the gallery, capacity is limited to 6 individuals or three household groups, monitored by the staff member at the admissions desk.


Paths of travel through the establishment and wayfinding signage

On the exhibit floor our tour has a linear, numbered route which gives guests a natural one-way path. Additional signage and arrows on the floor promote one-way travel, leading guests naturally to the exit door.

In the gallery visitors are restricted to 3 individuals at a time (or 2 household groups); markings on the floor will indicate physical distancing placement.

The museum store is marked to encourage one-way flow to look at all merchandise.

Our one stairway leads to the office. Staff is required to follow social distancing and a one- at-a-time protocol.


Plans for preventing patrons from gathering in a space

The ABM does not have an auditorium.
Staff monitors for congestion, and remind people to keep moving. Signage encourages movement.


Sanitation for Restrooms

The ABM has four individual restrooms (two wheelchair accessible) with ventilation through the roof.

Touchless lights and soap dispensers have been installed. Staff inspects each restroom four times a day (9:00; 12:00; 2:00; 4:00) to clean and restock based on museum attendance (ie., if we have no guests that day, restrooms are cleaned at 9am and 4pm only)

Areas of concern:

  • Restock soap and paper towers
  • Empty trash cans as needed
  • Clean/disinfect sinks. faucets and knobs, toilet handle, paper towel dispenser. Cleaning is done with janitorial cleaner. Disinfection is done with bleach solution (5 tbs. per gallon of water, per CDC guidelines) sprayed on and allowed to sit for 60 seconds before being wiped away with paper towels. Staff wear masks and gloves when cleaning.

Tours and audio self-tour equipment

Docent-led tours are currently suspended. The ABM self-guided tours work two ways:

  • Audio tours are accessed via the guest’s own smart phone and earphones; guests are reminded when purchasing tickets that they will need these to access the tour. If a guest does not have earphones the ABM will provide a pair of disposable earphones for their use. If the guest does not have a smart phone the ABM will loan them a tablet and disposable earphones. After use the earphones are thrown away; the tablet is disinfected.
  • We also offer a self-guided tour brochure, which the guest may take home or throw away after use.

Sanitation for high-touch surfaces

In most cases our high-touch surfaces require disinfection (using bleach solution or bleach disinfecting wipes) rather than cleaning. High touch surfaces include:

  • Clementina Street  door handles
  • Folsom Street handles
  • Ramp and stair railings
  • Admission Desk
  • Plexiglass barrier
  • Door handles to restrooms, kitchen, private areas
  • Stair railings to administration area.
  • Light switches
  • Chairs/benches
  • Kitchen: microwave, refrigerator, counters, sink handles and faucet

Disinfection is done as needed depending on museum traffic, but no less than twice a day.

Interactive exhibits

Currently ABM has no interactive exhibits.
Guests are not permitted to touch anything on the exhibit floor. There are multiple signs on the exhibit floor, and exhibits are roped off to keep guests away. Staff will monitor to ensure compliance.

Office Space

The ABM requires three staff members on site in order to operate safely: one staff member at the admission desk during open hours, and two who—in addition to doing other work—can be available to deal with deliveries, and to make sure that (if one staff member must leave for some reason) no one is left alone. All staff members have been vaccinated.

Depending on visitation flow, we can stagger arrival and departure times around office hours to reduce the number of staff on site.

The office is set up so that up to five people can be working there with 6+ feet between them. There is one stairway leading to the office, and a strict policy of first-come-first-up (or down) is followed: signs are posted to remind staff.

Disinfectant wipes are available by both printers. Staff has disinfectant wipes at their desks, and are reminded to wipe down their desks, computers, and phones at least upon arrival and before departure for the day.

ABM has a small kitchen for the use of staff. All dishes and flatware are stored; staff should bring their own materials and take them home at the end of the day. The microwave, refrigerator, and counters are cleaned and wiped with disinfectant wipes after each use.


ABM Exhibit Floor

Revised 5/14/21
© 2014-2021 American Bookbinders Museum