Four museums in Washington, D.C., will close due to staffing issues, the Smithsonian Institution announced Wednesday.
The Smithsonian will temporarily close the National Museum of African Art, the National Postal Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum, and the National Museum of Asian Art beginning on Wednesday and reopen them on Monday, giving the museums five days to fill staffing shortages as the omicron variant causes increased sickness among staff.
"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," the Smithsonian announced in a press release. "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."
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The U.S. capital has seen a significant surge in infections over the last week. Washington experienced an average of 2,767 new cases per day over the past seven days as of Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Washington will begin requiring proof of vaccination at its indoor restaurants, meeting venues, and gyms on Jan. 15. The city will also reinstate its indoor mask mandate by the end of January 2022.