Science centers, Smithsonian centers, and art museums are shutting down amid the spread of coronavirus.
On Thursday evening, the Smithsonian museums, galleries and National Zoo will all close on Saturday indefinitely. The news comes as a hit to the D.C., which was also slated to host the Cherry Blossom Festival later in the month.
The Smithsonian issued the following statement:
"The health and safety of Smithsonian visitors, staff and volunteers is a top priority. We are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and maintain ongoing communication with local health officials and the Centers for Disease Controland Prevention. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on a week-to-week basis on our websites. Follow the Smithsonian on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for immediate updates @smithsonian."
The situation is similar in New York, where the Metropolitan Museum of Art is shutting down indefinitely.
Here is what The Met had to say:
"We will be closing all three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters—temporarily starting tomorrow, March 13, to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Museum will undertake a thorough cleaning and plans to announce next steps early next week. While we don’t have any confirmed cases connected to the Museum, we believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community which at this time calls for us to minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible. We look forward to soon announcing when we’ll be able to welcome our staff and visitors back to the Museum.”