The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will temporarily close its Met Fifth Avenue location, as well as the Met Breuer and the Met Cloisters, starting tomorrow, March 13. The institution said that the decision was made to support New York City’s effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and that it has been preparing for this possibility for weeks. During the closure, it plans to sanitize its facilities and will release further information about its programming early next week.
“The Met’s priority is to protect and support our staff, volunteers, and visitors, and we have been taking several proactive precautionary measures, including discouraging travel to affected areas, implementing rigorous cleaning routines, and staying in close communication with New York City health officials and the Centers for Disease Control,” said Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president and CEO. “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.”
The number of those infected with the virus in New York state currently tallies over 225, with the highest concentration in Westchester County. According to the New York Times, New York City has confirmed sixty-two cases. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “more restrictions” to mitigate the spread, such as reducing the number of public gatherings across the boroughs.