The Smithsonian Institute has announced that it will close four of its museums until January 3, 2021 due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases recorded across the country.
“The National Museum of African Art, the National Postal Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum and the National Museum of Asian Art (Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery) are closed effective tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 29, and are scheduled to reopen Monday, Jan. 3, 2022,” a press release from the Smithsonian Institute reads.
Of the four museums impacted by this decision, all of them are located in Washington, D.C. Within the last few days, the nation’s capital has reportedly recorded an average of 2,071 cases per day. This is a 931% increase from the number of COVID-19 cases recorded per day just two weeks ago. To combat the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, the Smithsonian Institute plans to reallocate many staff members to other museums in order to keep certain venues open.
“Like many other organizations, the Smithsonian has been managing the direct and indirect outcomes of the latest surge in covid infections caused by the omicron variant. Over the last few days, the Smithsonian has seen an increase in positive covid cases and associated quarantine periods among our essential and operational staff,” the press release continues.
“The closures of these four museums will allow the Smithsonian to reallocate staff and keep all other museums open for the remainder of the week.”