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Topeka Zoo rolls out reopening guidelines

Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center Reopening Guidelines 

Phase 1 –Open Air Park Phase 1 of the Topeka Zoo’s reopening plan will allow for high-level restrictions to accommodate social distancing and prevent Covid-19 transmission. Phase 1 will be initiated after Stay at Home Order expires and social distancing is still required when the maximum gathering limit is set at ten or less. 

Applicable Dates – Through the end of Shawnee County’s Phase 1 for Reopening 

  • May 14 – 17, 2020 – Soft limited opening for Friends of the Zoo Members. Single-use or daily tickets will not be sold. 
  • May 18 till the end of Shawnee County’s Phase 1 – Single-use daily admission tickets will be sold at regular admission prices. 

Phase 1 Zoo Guidelines: 

  • The total number of guests in the Zoo will be limited to no more than 500. At an occupancy level of 500, family groups within the Zoo will have enough space to a social distance at 17 – 20 feet apart. 
  • Employees working at the Zoo will be required to wear masks when the Zoo is open when there is a chance that they may come within six feet of contact with a Zoo guest. 
  • Guests visiting the Zoo will be highly encouraged to wear masks or other partial facial coverings. 
  • Employees working in point of sale public areas will be working behind plastic or glass shields and will be required to wipe down or spray with disinfectant their work stations hourly. 
  • When the Zoo is open, there will be an Environmental Services crew on-site continuously working their way through the Zoo wiping down or disinfecting high touch areas and other hard surfaces. 
  • Brochures and maps will not be available during Phase 1. 
  • Membership purchases or renewals will be encouraged to be completed online. 
  • Single-day ticket purchases will be encouraged to be made online prior to arrival. 
  • When making financial transactions, guests will be encouraged to make that transaction with a debit or credit card. 

City Communications City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street Topeka, KS 66603 

Tel: 785-368-0991 www.topeka.org 

  • Guest flow through the Zoo will be in one direction and will utilize a figure eight configuration. 
  • All buildings will be closed to guests with two exceptions: 

o One bathroom near the Zoo’s café will be kept open. This bathroom will be sanitized and disinfected every other hour.

o Camp Cowabunga Building will be utilized only to allow guests to pass through a sanctioned area to exit to the connecting path. 

  • The sidewalk leading to the Zoo’s entry will be marked with symbols to help guests social distance while waiting in line to enter. A similar spacing system will be utilized in front of exhibit viewing areas. 
  • During phase 1, guests will not have access to feeding machines or animal encounters. 
  • Animal interaction exhibits will not be open during Phase 1. This includes the Lorikeet Feeding Aviary, Farm Yard, and Saving Sharks touch pool. 
  • Playgrounds and drinking fountains will be closed. 
  • Café food and beverage and Kona Ice may be available for purchase. 
  • While a limited number of trashcans will be available, guests will be encouraged to take their trash with them. 
  • Throughout the facility, signage will remind guests to maintain social distance. 

Phase 2 –Open Air Park with Limited Access to Buildings 

Phase 2 of the Topeka Zoo’s reopening plan will allow for moderate level restrictions to accommodate social distancing and prevent Covid-19 transmission. Phase 2 may be initiated when social distancing is still required but the maximum gathering limit is increased to 50. 

Applicable Dates – The Topeka Zoo will transition to Phase 2 of its reopening plan at the same time Shawnee County initiates Phase 2 of its reopening plan. 

Phase 2 Zoo Guidelines: 

  • The total number of guests in the Zoo will be limited to no more than 900. At an occupancy level of 900, family groups within the Zoo will have enough space to a social distance at 8 – 10 feet apart. 
  • Employees working at the Zoo will be required to wear masks when the Zoo is open when there is a chance that they may come within six feet of contact with a Zoo guest. 
  • Guests visiting the Zoo will be highly encouraged to wear masks or other partial facial coverings. 
  • Employees working in point of sale public areas will be working behind plastic or glass shields and will be required to wipe down or spray with disinfectant their work stations hourly. 

City Communications City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street Topeka, KS 66603 

Tel: 785-368-0991 www.topeka.org 

  • When the Zoo is open, there will be an Environmental Services crew on-site continuously working their way through the Zoo wiping down or spraying with disinfectant high touch areas and other hard surfaces. 
  • Brochures and maps will not be available during Phase 2. 
  • Guests that plan to purchase single day use tickets will be encouraged to do so online. 
  • Membership purchases or renewals will be encouraged to be completed online. 
  • In the event a financial transaction needs to occur at the Zoo, guests will be encouraged to make that transaction with a debit or credit card. 
  • Guest flow through the Zoo will be in one direction and will utilize a figure eight configuration. 
  • The following three buildings will be open during Phase 2: 

o One bathroom near the Zoo’s café will be kept open. This bathroom will be sanitized and disinfected every other hour. o Camp Cowabunga Building will be open.

o The Animals and Man Building will be open.

  • The sidewalk leading to the Zoo’s entry will be marked with symbols to help guests social distance while waiting in line to enter. A similar spacing system will be utilized in front of exhibit viewing areas. 
  • Guests will have access to feed machines. 
  • Animal interaction exhibits will not be open during Phase 2. This includes the Lorikeet Feeding Aviary, Farm Yard, and Saving Sharks touch pool. However, on a low traffic day, Saving Sharks or the Lorikeet Feeding Aviary may be opened for short periods of time. 
  • Playgrounds and drinking fountains will be open. 
  • Café food and beverage and Kona Ice may be available for purchase. 
  • While a limited number of trashcans will be available, guests will be encouraged to take their trash with them. 
  • Throughout the facility, signage will remind guests to maintain social distance.
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