Our Guiding Principles 

SMoCA’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 virus will be rooted in safety for our staff, our artists, and the public and visitors with whom we interact. 

The primary goals for our response to the COVID-19 virus are to protect public health and continue Scottsdale Arts’ vital missions of art exhibitions, events, and community engagement. 

Our plans will be consistent with ordinances from the city of Scottsdale and Maricopa County, as well as the State of Arizona’s Phased Reopening Model. Our plans will also follow recommendations from the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), and the Scottsdale Arts Health Advising Team. 

Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus will continue to evolve. As a result, our policies and plans will be appropriately updated as more information becomes available. 

For Public

Protocols at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)

The following policies are in place for the safety of visitors, artists, and staff:

  • Patrons who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 do not enter the Museum. 
  • Masks are required for all who enter the Museum (3 and older).
    • If visitors do not have their own masks, disposable masks are available. 
  • To encourage physical distancing, traffic patterns for entering and exiting the Museum are clearly marked. Signage, floor decals, and/or colored tape will indicate where visitors should stand while waiting to enter the Museum. 
  • Hourly sanitization schedule for all public areas and surfaces.
    Hand sanitizers available in multiple locations.
  • Interactive gallery components are closed.
  • Public programs moved to a virtual platform or have been postponed. For up-to-date events information visit SMoCA.org/events.
  • Educational programs, such as docent and group tours are temporarily suspended.
  • The outdoor sculpture garden and Turrell Skyspace are limited to five (5) visitors at a time.

Museum Admissions:

  • Admission to the Museum is sold online and in-person, but we encourage purchasing tickets in advance.
  • Entry into the Museum is timed, and the capacity limited to twenty (20) visitors per hour.
  • Patrons with a timed hour ticket will need to arrive at the beginning of their hour. After 15 minutes, your timed-entry reservation will be released for another patron to enjoy the museum.
  • Museum admission counter has plexiglass shields for the safety of patrons and staff. 
  • Museum admission lines and Shop@SMoCA lines are clearly indicated entrances and exits with markings on the floor to maintain social distancing.
  • We cannot temporarily hold your items. Please keep liquids safely tucked away, and keep bags and strollers with you at all times.
  • Group size is limited to six (6) people


  • Has plexiglass shields in front of cash registers.
  • Provides sanitized pens for use when signing is required and a clearly indicated place to put used pens.
  • Has limited patron capacity to only five (5) visitors at a time.
  • Offers touchless credit card processing.


  • Every other stall is closed. 
  • Signage indicates and encourages proper hand washing techniques as recommended by the CDC.
  • Are cleaned and sanitized twice a day.
  • Drinking fountains are closed. 

Staff Precautions:

  • All staff who are unwell, feel sick, or have a fever must stay home.
  • All staff are required to wear a face mask or face covering.
  • SMoCA is encouraging remote work and alternative schedules to reduce the amount of staff present at the Museum at one time.

Benchmarks for Easing Some of the COVID-19 Virus Safety Protocols 

Capacity limits, spaced in-person event seating, and the safety protocols outlined above will be in place until the following benchmarks are met, as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services, or a safe and effective vaccine is available to all: 

  • Hospitals can treat all cases requiring hospitalization without resorting to crisis standards of care. 
  • Statewide testing is available to all who need it. 
  • A contact tracing system is operational, and all cases are being actively traced. 
  • There have been at least fourteen (14) days of decreasing cases in Arizona. 

Reopening Guidelines—Know Before You Go

SMoCA is instituting a number of policies and procedures to help ensure your safety, as well as ours. Here are our new procedures:

  • Timed admission tickets are required to ensure physical distancing guidelines.
  • Face masks (worn over mouth and nose) are always required for staff and visitors (3 and older). Disposable face masks and gloves are available upon request and free of charge.
  • Social distancing is always required. Keep at least 6 feet between yourself (and your group) and other Museum visitors.
  • Group size limited to 6 visitors per group.
  • Museum attendance is limited to 20 visitors per hour.
  • The outdoor sculpture garden and Turrell Skyspace is limited to 5 visitors at a time.
  • Shop@SMoCA is limited to 5 visitors at a time.
  • Hourly sanitization schedule for all public areas and surfaces.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the Museum.
  • Drinking fountains are closed. Water must be kept in a sealed container and put away. No other food or drink is allowed in galleries.
  • Interactive Museum components are closed.
  • Public programs are on a virtual platform or are postponed. For up-to-date events information visit SMoCA.org/events.
  • Educational programs, such as docent and group tours are suspended.
  • Admissions staff is behind a safety plexiglass.
  • We cannot temporarily hold your items. Always keep bags and strollers with you during your visit.

For Staff

Staff who are returning to SMoCA must conduct symptom monitoring every day before reporting to work. You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to the COVID-19 virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home if you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fever 
  • Chills 
  • Fatigue 
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms 
  • New loss of taste or smell 

If you have any symptoms, you must call your doctor for assessment of symptoms and testing. You should also wear a face mask to avoid possible virus transmission to others and self-isolate until cleared by your doctor to return to work or a docent shift. Additionally, please contact Lisa DeGroodt—at LisaD@ScottsdaleArts.org or 480-874-4616—who will coordinate with your supervisor or volunteer coordinator and let them know you will not be available for your shift(s). 

When venturing out of the house, please protect yourself. The CDC recommends:

  • Washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Avoid close contact to others (social distancing when possible).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask or cloth face covering when you are around others and social distancing is not possible.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes if you do not have a mask or cloth face covering.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.     
  • Monitor your health.

For details regarding COVID-19 and how you can protect yourself visit the CDC website. 

SMoCA is instituting a number of policies and procedures in response to the COVID-19 virus to help ensure the safety of our staff, our docents, our artists, and the public and patrons with whom we interact. As with most things these days, we will look different when we open. Below you will find our new policies and procedures.

Personal Safety Practices 

Face Masks and Cloth Face Coverings 

Face masks and cloth face coverings are always required for staff and visitors (over age 3). These must be worn by all staff working on the Scottsdale Arts campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as in common workspaces, meeting rooms, SMoCA galleries and courtyard, and SMoCA’s workshop. Appropriate use of face masks or cloth face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others near you. You could spread the COVID-19 virus to others even if you do not feel sick. However, a face mask or cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, which should be practiced whenever possible. 

Disposable face covering and gloves are available upon request and free of charge. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the trash. 

You may also wear a cloth face covering, which will help Scottsdale Arts reduce the need to purchase additional masks. The fabric design or pattern for cloth face coverings should be appropriate for the workplace. Cloth face coverings must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before every use. Having a week supply of cloth face coverings can help reduce the need for daily laundering. 

Use and Care of Cloth Face Coverings 

For details regarding cloth face coverings, including how to create, wear, and care for homemade face coverings, visit the CDC website. 

Putting On a Cloth Face Covering or Disposable Mask 

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering or disposable mask. 
  • Ensure the face covering or disposable mask fits over the nose and under the chin. 
  • Situate the face covering or disposable mask properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable). 
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears. 
  • Avoid touching the front of the face covering or disposable mask when putting on or wearing one. 

Taking Off a Cloth Face Covering or Disposable Mask 

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing a face covering or disposable mask. 
  • When taking off a face covering or disposable mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps. 
  • Wash hands immediately after removing. We recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. 

Care, Storage, and Cleaning of Face Coverings 

  • Keep face coverings or disposable masks stored in a paper bag when not in use. 
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used more than one day at a time and must be washed after using. Cloth face coverings should be properly laundered with regular clothing detergent before every use. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged, or visibly contaminated. 
  • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after one use or if it is soiled, damaged, or visibly contaminated. 

Social Distancing 

Social distancing is required. Please keep at least 6 feet between yourself (and your group) and others when visiting the Museum.

  • Museum attendance will be limited to twenty (20) visitors per hour
  • Groups no larger than six (6)
  • SMoCA’s outdoor sculpture garden will be limited to five (5) visitors at a time  

Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. 

Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. The CDC recommends staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. For more information about social distancing, visit the CDC website.


Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 70% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. 


Those working the bar and volunteers who may need to touch items such as tickets will be required to wear gloves. These will be provided by Scottsdale Arts. According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. 

Goggles and Face Shields 

Staff and docents do not need to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity at SMoCA. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-healthcare environments. 

Cleaning and Disinfection 

Environmental service teams will clean office and workspaces based on CDC guidelines for disinfection and federal Occupational and Environmental Safety Office (OESO) protocols. Facilities management will also maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances and high-traffic areas on the Scottsdale Arts campus. 

Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied prior to reopening of buildings. 

Staff and docents should also wipe down commonly used surfaces before and after use with products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency ‘s (EPA) criteria for use against the COVID-19 virus and are appropriate for the surface. This includes any shared-space location and equipment (e.g. copiers, printers, computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks, tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.). 

Coughing and Sneezing Hygiene 

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your face mask or cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene. 

Public Transportation 

If you take public transportation to SMoCA, wear a mask before entering the bus or light rail, and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 70% isopropanol as the preferred form of hand hygiene as soon as possible and before removing your mask.