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Staff, public will be asked to wear face masks after 64-acre facility reopens July 12.

  - Masai giraffe Buttercup strolls among the fall foliage at the Oregon Zoo. The zoo reopens July 12 after being closed for nearly four months to avoid the spread of COVID-19.People who are tired of being stuck at home can now hang out with a bunch of real animals.

The Oregon Zoo said Monday, July 6, that it would reopen to the public Sunday, July 12. The zoo has been closed for nearly four months to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The zoo will require people older than 6 to wear face masks. It also will have hand-washing and sanitation stations throughout the facility.

"The outpouring of public support over these past three months has been incredible," said Zoo Director Don Moore. "The path forward may feel unfamiliar, especially at first, but we are excited to begin welcoming back our guests and continue working with the people of greater Portland — and Oregon more broadly — to create a better future for wildlife."


Reopening includes several measures to protect staff and visitors from exposure to the virus. They include:

• Timed ticketing/limited attendance: To prevent crowding and long lines, the zoo will open with reduced capacity and timed ticketing. All guests — including zoo members — must reserve their tickets online in advance. Guests will choose a day and time to visit, and receive an electronic ticket to be scanned once they arrive. Tickets may be reserved/purchased via the zoo website. Member-only preview reservations are available Monday, July 6. General admission and all other membership reservations go on sale Wednesday, July 8.

• Primarily outdoor experience: Guests will follow a one-way, mostly open-air path through the zoo's 64-acre park-like campus, with some indoor and high-touch areas remaining closed. Visitors should keep an eye out for blue "Paws [pause] for Safety" markers along the route. Carousel and train rides will not be operating.

• Masks/face coverings: To help protect the safety of animals, staff and guests, face coverings will be required for zoo employees and for all guests over the age of 6 upon entry and in designated areas. Guests ages 2 to 5 are encouraged to wear masks if possible. Guests who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons will be exempt.

• Handwashing and sanitizing stations: Additional handwashing and sanitizing stations have been added throughout the zoo.

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