Aquariums, Jennette’s Pier, Festival Park, other state cultural sites closing due to COVID-19

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The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head, Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City, and other state historic sites and museums will be closed starting Tuesday due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said the suspension of public operations will allow the department the opportunity to assess facilities to consider possible modifications that could ensure appropriate social distancing.

Access to state parks and trails, including Jockey’s Ridge, Pettigrew, Goose Creek and Merchant’s Millpond, will remain open, but visitor centers and restroom facilities will also be closed until further notice.

“The top priority of the aquariums is the health and safety of our staff, guests, volunteers, program participants, and the animals in their care,” said Brian Postelle, Public Relations Coordinator at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island.

“Given how quickly situations develop, the aquariums will continue to provide updates on its website and via social media channels,” Postelle said.

Aquarium programs and events are cancelled indefinitely. Anyone who purchased a ticket or registered for a program will be contacted by the aquariums. Or registered customers can email or call the aquarium or more information on what to do next.

All North Carolina Aquarium Society memberships will be extended for a period equal to the length of time that the aquariums are closed. This extension will be applied automatically, and you will not need to take any action to enable this.

Should you have any questions about your membership, please contact the North Carolina Aquarium Society at (800) 832-3474 or You may find additional information at

“Essential staff will remain onsite to care for thousands of animals in aquarium care, and all of the animals are healthy and doing well,” Postelle said.

“The aquarium’s dedicated animal caretakers work diligently to ensure the best possible health and well-being of the animals,” Postelle said. “That includes planning for emergencies like this and stocking up on extra food and supplies for the animals.”

An additional mix of staff onsite, as well as those working remotely from home, ensure the Aquarium will be ready to re-open and welcome guests back once this critical situation has subsided.

The overall suspension of operations includes the North Carolina museums of art, history and natural sciences, including regional museums; state historic sites; the North Carolina Zoo; the State Library of North Carolina and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped; the State Archives, including regional archive offices; and the North Carolina Symphony.

All department events, programs and tours have been canceled.

Until sites reopen for visitors, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources offers a myriad of virtual experiences. You can visit many DNCR sites virtually through NC DIT’s 360 experience at Or visit to explore online collections, podcasts, videos, and other resources.”

This story originally appeared on Read More local stories here.

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