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Smithsonian Changes Operation Hours for Museums Due to Staff Shortage

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The Smithsonian announced Friday a new schedule which changes the current operating days and hours of several museums because of employee shortages. 

“This newly modified schedule reflects the continued need to reduce operations due to ongoing staff shortages while accommodating the needs of the public by opening more museums on weekends,” the institution said in a press release.

The new schedule that will affect DC area museums and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will take effect on Tuesday, January 18. It will remain in place until further notice.

The National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African American History and Culture will still be open five days a week, and most museums will be open to visitors on weekends. 

Starting January 18, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, and the Smithsonian Institution Building will be open seven days a week. The National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open five days a week. 

Other museums in the District and the National Zoo will adopt a Thursday–Sunday schedule.

In the meantime, the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, the National Postal Museum and the Anacostia Community Museum will be closed to the public until further notice.

The updated schedule comes after temporary changes that reduced days and hours of operation for the museums through Monday, January 17 in anticipation of staff shortages due to the COVID-19 crisis. During this period, the Smithsonian evaluated its operations and staffing requirements.

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