The Aquarium of Niagara to Close in Response to COVID-19
The Aquarium of Niagara is closed to the public in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Western New York. All scheduled events and programs are cancelled.
“As a destination for our community, school children, and tourists, we have a responsibility to do our part to protect the public’s heath for both our visitors and our staff,” said Gary Siddall, Executive Director at the Aquarium of Niagara. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Aquarium soon to continue our mission of inspiring visitors to make a difference for aquatic life.”
The Aquarium is committed to the safety of all involved while providing exemplary care to our animal collection. While the Aquarium will be closed to the public, staff who are essential to the care and livelihood of our animals will continue to provide the exemplary standard of care that earned the Aquarium of Niagara accreditation by the Association of Aquariums. All other staff will telecommute.
On April 5, 2020, the Aquarium of Niagara moved to strengthen its COVID-19 procedures in light of the news that a tiger in New York City has contracted the coronavirus. This was the first known case of transmission of COVID-19 from humans to animals at an accredited zoo or aquarium.
Before there was any evidence that the coronavirus could be transmitted from humans to animals, the Aquarium of Niagara had implemented rigorous guidelines for our essential staff to follow while both on and off the premises. Any employee that experienced symptoms or came in contact with someone who showed symptoms of COVID-19 was instructed to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days, a policy that exceeded recommendations from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In light of the first human-to-animal transmission of the coronavirus, we are restricting staff from entering the areas that provide care/housing to the animal collection unless they have specialized training associated with the care of those animals.
So far, none of our animals have showed signs of respiratory illness. The Aquarium’s zoological staff is closely monitoring the animals under our care and our team of veterinarians will take further action on a case-by-case basis if necessary. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.
The Aquarium continues to monitor the developments across the country and is ready to make changes to policies and procedures in accordance with guidance from the USDA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and local public health officials.
The Aquarium is committed to regularly providing updates about travel, preventative best practices, and helpful links to resources to our staff and visitors. If you have any questions about visiting the Aquarium of Niagara or our response to COVID-19, please call (716) 285-3575 or email [email protected]
Can you help?
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Aquarium of Niagara relies on ticket sales, programs, events and donations to operate. Even though we are closed, we are still committed to providing the exemplary standard of animal care that earned us accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. But as you can imagine, this closure will have a significant impact on our overall operating budget. Please consider a donation to assist us in the care of our animals and team members. Your support is more critical now than it has been in our nearly 55 years operating as an Aquarium.