New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen five days a week starting Aug. 29 after being shuttered since March 13 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, museum officials announced Wednesday.
The Met's Fifth Avenue building will be open Thursday through Monday with safety protocols including frequent cleaning and visitors limited to 25% of the museum's capacity, the officials said. Face coverings and social distancing will be required.
“Perhaps now more than ever the Museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us better understand each other and the world around us,” museum president Daniel H. Weiss said in a statement.
The Met's Cloisters facility in upper Manhattan will open at a later date, officials said. The Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, which the Met took over in 2016, will not reopen. It is being turned over to the Frick Collection as a temporary home during renovation of the Frick's Fifth Avenue mansion.
The planned reopening of the 150-year-old Met is the latest sign of New York's cautious resumption of normal activities as city and state officials seek to avoid a resurgence of the virus.
New York has not seen a significant uptick in infections as the state has slowly reopened its economy starting in May, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sought to crack down on travellers from states where COVID-19 is spreading at higher rates and is urging New Yorkers to wear masks, wash their hands and stay 6 feet away from others.
“We cannot go back to the hell we experienced three months ago, so please stay vigilant and New York tough,” Cuomo said Wednesday.
About 1.3% of people tested in New York for COVID-19 Tuesday were positive, according to Cuomo’s office. Nine deaths from the virus were reported.
WEST POINT CADETS
About a dozen new cadets who arrived at West Point for training this week tested positive for COVID-19.
The U.S. Military Academy said Wednesday that 1% of the roughly 1,220 incoming members of the Class of 2024 tested positive, which works out to 12 new cadets.
Class members arriving at the academy from Sunday through Tuesday were immediately tested for COVID-19. West Point has said those who test positive will be quarantined for a period of time with the goal of eventually allowing them to join their companies.
All new cadets this summer are wearing face coverings and staying socially distant from one another as West Point adapts its training for the pandemic. This year’s Cadet Basic Training has been shortened from six weeks to four.