New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Thursday it is closing to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The closure begins Friday 13 and affects the Met's main location on Fifth Avenue, the Met Breuer and the Met Cloisters. The museum did not give a reopening date.
"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," Met chief Daniel Weiss said in a statement.
The museum had been taking preemptive measures against the virus, including discouraging travel to affected areas, implementing rigorous cleanings and working with city health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Weiss. He said the museum had been preparing for the possibility of closure and developed an operational plan that is now in place. The plan includes provisions to support the museum's salaried and hourly staff.
The museum said it has closed for two days only twice before: after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Weiss said the museum will announce its next steps early next week.