Smithsonian to temporarily close four museums amid COVID-19 surge

The Smithsonian is temporarily closing several museums as COVID-19 cases surges nationwide due to the highly contagious omicron variant.

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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) will be closed from Wednesday, Dec. 29 to reopen Monday, Jan. 3.

"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," Smithsonian officials said in a statement. "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."