Because the Omicron variant overtakes the nation, and coronavirus circumstances reported for the final week within the capital area climbed to their highest since the start of the pandemic, the Smithsonian Establishment mentioned it could shutter 4 of its museums by Sunday.

The museums are the Nationwide Museum of African Artwork, the Nationwide Postal Museum, the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum and the Nationwide Museum of Asian Artwork (Freer Gallery of Artwork and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery).

“Like many different organizations, the Smithsonian has been managing the direct and oblique outcomes of the most recent surge in Covid infections brought on by the omicron variant,” the Smithsonian said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday saying the closures. “Over the previous couple of days, the Smithsonian has seen a rise in optimistic Covid circumstances and related quarantine durations amongst our important and operational workers.”

The Smithsonian mentioned that the closure of the 4 museums, which have decrease attendance charges, would permit it to maintain bigger establishments open by transferring guards and different important workers.

Quite a few museums throughout the nation have additionally been grappling with current coronavirus-related closures: Some in New York, Maryland and a number of other different states introduced plans to close once more.

In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduced final week that it could restrict attendance to about 10,000 guests per day due to the extremely contagious Omicron variant, and the Winter Present, a longstanding New York artwork, vintage and design truthful, postponed its Jan. 20 opening on the Park Avenue Armory.

In Queens, the Noguchi Museum has closed by Jan. 4, and in New Haven, Conn., the Yale College Artwork Gallery and Yale Middle for British Artwork have each closed by Jan. 2. The Baltimore Museum of Artwork reopened its galleries this morning after closing final week due to the unfold of Covid.

Different museums have remained open however carried out new restrictions: The Nationwide Gallery of Artwork in Washington and the Brooklyn Museum, for example, have canceled many in-person excursions.

Like the remainder of the nation, the nation’s capital has seen a surge in circumstances this month: 1,868 new coronavirus circumstances were reported in Washington on Tuesday, and the typical of two,071 every day circumstances was a 931 % change from the determine two weeks earlier.

The closures come within the week between Christmas and New 12 months’s, when attendance figures would usually be among the many highest of the 12 months.