Friday, November 20, 2020

Stay In: Smithsonian Museums and the National Zoo to Close Nov. 23 - and DC announces increased testing hours starting 11/23

 by Peggy Robin

Covid Testing at Engine Co. 31 at 4930 Connecticut Ave NW

I did not post my usual Thursday column highlight some event for the "Get Out" column -- as almost every place that was hosting in-person events, even with enhanced safety protocols in place -- has now shut down during the current surge of covid cases.

I thought I would just pass along the notice from Smithsonian about its decision to lock down starting on Monday, November 23:

Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. This will impact the eight Smithsonian facilities  eight Smithsonian facilities in the Washington, D.C., region that had reopened to the public to date. Due to the changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a reopening date at this time.

The Institution’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff. We will use this time to reassess, monitor and explore additional risk-mitigation measures. We are closely monitoring guidance from local governments, public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Visitors who had reserved timed-entry passes to visit at a future date are being contacted directly. Visit our website  or follow the Smithsonian on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates. 

While the museums are closed, we invite you to explore the Smithsonian’s vast online resources including virtual exhibitions, online collections and educational materials  


While so many public gathering places are shut down, covid testing centers are ramping up to handle the increased numbers of people who would like to be tested before they make decisions about holiday gatherings or travel. It's not clear whether anyone getting a test this week will have results back in time for Thanksgiving, but here is the link to the DC's government's Coronavirus Information Site that has the list of available testing sites - both public and private:

On that site you will see an announcement that starting on Monday, November 23, expanded hours will be available at public testing sites across the District:  

While you wait for your results, protect our community by staying home.

The "Get Out!" events column will be back whenever we are able to safely get out again!

The "Get Out" events column is usually published on The Cleveland Park Listserv and on  All Life Is Local on Thursdays - but we're a day late today!

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