Four Smithsonian museums close due to staff shortage at Omicron

As the Omicron variant overtakes the country, and coronavirus cases reported last week in the capital region have soared to their highe...

As the Omicron variant overtakes the country, and coronavirus cases reported last week in the capital region have soared to their highest since the start of the pandemic, the Smithsonian Institution has announced that it will close four of its museums until Sunday.

The museums are the National Museum of African Art, the National Postal Museum, the Community Museum of Anacostia and the National Museum of Asian Art (Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery).

“Like many other organizations, the Smithsonian has handled the direct and indirect results of the latest wave of Covid infections caused by the omicron variant,” the Smithsonian said Tuesday in a statement posted on its website announcing the closures. “Over the past few days, the Smithsonian has seen an increase in positive Covid cases and associated quarantine periods among our critical and operational staff. “

The Smithsonian said closing the four museums, which have lower attendance rates, would allow it to keep large institutions open by relocating guards and other essential personnel.

A number of museums across the country are also grappling with recent coronavirus-related closures: some in New York City, Maryland and several other states have announced plans to close again.

In New York, the Metropolitan Art Museum announced last week that it would limit attendance to around 10,000 visitors per day due to the highly contagious variant of Omicron, and the Winter Show, a long-running art, antiques and design fair in New York, has postponed its opening on January 20 at the Park Avenue Armory.

In Queens, the Noguchi Museum closed until January 4, and in New Haven, Connecticut, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art both closed until January 2. The Baltimore Museum of Art reopened its galleries this morning. after closing last week due to the spread of the Covid.

Other museums remained open but put new restrictions in place: the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Brooklyn Museum, for example, canceled many in-person tours.

Like the rest of the country, the nation’s capital has seen an increase in the number of cases this month: 1,868 new cases of coronavirus were reported in Washington on Tuesday, and the average of 2,071 daily cases was a change of 931 percent from the figure two weeks earlier.

The closures come in the week between Christmas and New Years, when attendance numbers are said to be among the highest of the year.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Four Smithsonian museums close due to staff shortage at Omicron
Four Smithsonian museums close due to staff shortage at Omicron
Newsrust - US Top News
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