ARLINGTON, VA -- The wave of closures due to coronavirus is growing across the nation. The latest is Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
“U.S. Army and Department of Defense guidance is clear: force health protection is paramount,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director, Office of Army National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery.
“We have a responsibility to protect our employees, the families of our fallen service members paying respect to their loved ones, and to the thousands of visitors per day who come here to appreciate this national shrine. We do not make this decision lightly, but closing our doors to visitors allows us to focus our energy and resources on our core mission of safely laying our nation’s warriors to rest,” Durham-Aguilera says.
Funerals will continue to be conducted as scheduled, and the cemetery will be open to family pass holders during visitation from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00pm.
Ray Alexander, Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery stated, “protecting the health of our force and our visitors is a top priority; we are taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread of the virus as many of the cemetery’s memorials and visitor spaces do not allow for the recommended ‘social distancing’ that is called for by medical guidelines.”
It shuts down Friday while the Smithsonian and the National Zoo close their doors Saturday. No word yet when any of the three will reopen.
This comes after Disneyland and Universal Studios made the decision to shut down for the rest of the month.