Museums plan reopening; free masks all summer in New Bedford

BOSTON — Massachusetts museums are announcing reopening plans now that they are allowed to start welcoming visitors again under the third phase of the state's coronavirus economic recovery plan.

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem announced in a statement Friday that it will open its doors July 16 and 17 to members, patrons and health care workers from North Shore Medical Center, then open to the public on July 18.

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The museum will limit capacity with timed tickets, and is also enhancing cleaning and sanitizing measures.

The Springfield Museums, a complex of five museums including one dedicated to children's author and city native Dr. Seuss, will welcome back members on July 9 and 10, and non-members starting July 13, according to its website.

Tickets for a specific visit time will be offered in advance on a first-come, first-served basis to prevent overcrowding.

Three major museums in the Berkshires — the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Clark Art Institute — are all scheduled to reopen some time during the weekend of July 11 and 12.

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MASK DISTRIBUTION

New Bedford will continue distributing free masks to city residents throughout July and August, city officials announced Friday.

The initiative — a partnership between the city, the Southeastern Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross, and Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corp. that has already distributed more than 52,000 masks — has scheduled several drive-through distribution events at middle school parking lots on July 18, Aug. 1 and Aug. 8.

Several walk-up distribution events in different neighbourhoods are also planned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the wearing of cloth face coverings in public where social distancing is difficult to maintain to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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