BOSTON (CBS) – The coronavirus is forcing cultural institutions in Boston to close to the public. The New England Aquarium, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are among those making changes.
The Harvard Art Museums, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts released a joint statement saying they will close to the public and reopen “when it is safe.”
“The CDC has clearly communicated that one of the most effective measures for controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is social distancing,” the museums said. “Based on that recommendation, we feel it is our ethical responsibility to put the common good ahead of any one individual or institution.”
The Aquarium is closing to the public and suspending all events for at least the next three weeks.
“We ultimately decided a temporary closure was in the best interest of our dedicated staff, volunteers, visitors, and the animals who make this such a special place,” said Vikki N. Spruill, Aquarium CEO and president. “Care of our animals is a top priority that will continue on a daily basis.”
The Museum of Science is also shutting down for three weeks.
“The details of this pandemic are changing moment by moment and as we continue to review the science, research suggests that the wisest course of action is to limit social interaction,” Museum President Tim Ritchie said.
The Boston Children’s Museum said it is closing until at least April 3.
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is closed until further notice.
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is canceling performances in Boston and Tanglewood through March 28. And the Boch Center is canceling performances through March 30.
There have been 108 positive tests for coronavirus in Massachusetts so far.