Smithsonian Institution

All Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo to Close Due to COVID-19

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All Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will close because of rising COVID-19 cases, officials announced Thursday.

The museums and zoo will close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. Officials cited rising cases in the region and across the United States.

"The Institution’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff. We will use this time to reassess, monitor and explore additional risk-mitigation measures," museum officials said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

No reopening date was announced.

Eight Smithsonian museums in the D.C. area reopened to the public in the months after the pandemic began.

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum also will close on Nov. 23, officials there announced. They also did not set a reopening date.

The National Gallery of Art will temporarily close Saturday, affecting the West Building and the Sculpture Garden.

A lot of excitement at the Smithsonian National Zoo as the new panda cub had another checkup Wednesday. The cub has gained a whole pound. He’s now over 10 pounds, and his latest appearance is drawing quite the reaction. News4’s Adam Tuss has more on the panda cub’s big day and the welcome distraction he is providing.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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