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Smithsonian Institution to Re-Close Museums, National Zoo Due to COVID Spike

November 19, 2020 by Dan McCue
The Smithsonian Institution. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian Institution will temporarily re-close all of its museums and the National Zoo due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the region and across the country.

The closures, which will begin Monday, Nov. 23, will impact all eight Smithsonian facilities in and around Washington, D.C., that had reopened after the first wave of the pandemic.

In a statement, the Institution said its “top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff.”

Due to the changing nature of the situation, it said it could not announce when the museums and zoo will reopen.

“We are closely monitoring guidance from local governments, public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” the Institution said.

As of Thursday morning, DCHealth reported 213 positive test results in the past day. The department is also reporting that 2 people have died of COVID-19 related deaths in the past day, while 122 people have recovered.

One hundred-twenty-two people are currently hospitalized in the district due to the virus.

Maryland has seen an increase of 2,910 positive test results in the past day, a new daily record according to the Maryland Dept. of Health.

In the past 24 hours 21 people in Maryland have reportedly died from the virus or related causes and 20 people have recovered from it. Forty-eight people have been admitted to a hospital in Maryland due to COVID-related health issues.

In Virginia, an additional 1,954 cases were reported in the past 24 hours, and 36 people are reported to have died of COVID-related deaths, according to the Virginia Dept. of Health.

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association reports that there are currently 1,569 people who have been hospitalized for COVID-related illnesses across the state, 100 of them being admitted in the past 24 hours.

More than 264 people are reported to have recovered from the coronavirus during the same 24 hour period.

Until the museums reopen the Smithsonian Institution is inviting the public to explore online resources by visiting www.si.edu for more information on virtual exhibitions, online collections and educational resources.

It also suggests the public visit its website or follow the Smithsonian on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @smithsonian for updates. 

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