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Some Chicago museums temporarily closing amid coronavirus crisis

The popular spring break attractions want to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Field Museum’s Stanley Hall, Friday, June 22nd, 2018.
The Field Museum is among the Chicago museums temporarily closing to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
James Foster/Sun-Times file

Some major museums in Chicago are canceling events and temporarily closing their doors to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The Shedd Aquarium planned to close at 3:30 p.m. Friday and remain closed through March 29. All scheduled events and programs are canceled but may be rescheduled.

“We have a responsibility to communities, schoolchildren, staff, volunteers and more to do our part to help protected public’s health by temporarily supporting the effort for social distancing,” said Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium.

Animal caretakers and veterinarians will continue to provide care to the animals and infrastructure. Employees who can work from home will do so; those who cannot will be paid their regular rate for the two-week period, the aquarium said.

Guests are being contacted with options to put the value of their ticket toward a future date, request a refund or donate the value to the aquarium.

The Field Museum will be closed beginning Saturday until March 29. All events at the Field are also canceled during this period.

The Art Institute of Chicago will close for two weeks beginning Saturday until March 28. All events, including tours, lectures, workshops and performances will be canceled through April 10. The institute has increased housekeeping services with attention to frequently touched areas, such as handrails, door handles, counters and elevator buttons.

Adler Planetarium will close to the public beginning Saturday. All planetarium events will be rescheduled or canceled through May 1.

The Museum of Science and Industry will close beginning Saturday through April 6. All public programs and events will be postponed or canceled.

“As an institution rooted in science, we are proactively taking this step based upon the facts,” said David Mosena, museum president and CEO.