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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Area Museums Close Down to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

a photo of an outdoor sculpture at Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is among the area museums that's announced it's closed to the public.

As Gov. Mike DeWine and health officials urge Ohioans to practice "social distancing" to lessen the spread of COVID-19, area museums are closing their doors to the public.

From Canton to Akron, Oberlin, Cleveland and Youngstown, museums are shut down at least until the end of the month.

Johnna McEntee, executive director of the Ohio Museums Association, said area museums are making the right call.

"Ohio museums are working hard to make sure their communities stay safe and in compliance with the Governor's recommendations."

But just because you won't be able to physically roam the galleries, doesn't mean you can't see a musuem's artwork, she said.

"There are a lot of opportunities for folks to engage with their museums even if they’re not able to go through the doors." 

Both the Canton Museum of Art and The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown offer virtual tours.

Most museums have online catalogs, so you can check out that Warholor Kusamafrom your couch.

Some area museums, like the Akron Art Museum, are closed indefinitely, while others, like The Cleveland Musuem of Art are closed until the end of the month.

For specific guidance, reach out to musuems directly or check their websites for closure information. 

Mark Arehart joined the award-winning WKSU news team as its arts/culture reporter in 2017. Before coming to Northeast Ohio, Arehart hosted Morning Edition and covered the arts scene for Delaware Public Media. He previously worked for KNKX in Seattle, Kansas Public Radio, and KYUK in Bethel, Alaska.