Outbreak Closes US Capitol, White House

They're closed to public until next month, thanks to coronavirus
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 12, 2020 9:40 AM CDT
US Capitol Closing to Public
Crowds fill the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congress is shutting the Capitol and all House and Senate office buildings to the public until April in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus, the AP reports. The House and Senate sergeants-at-arms said in a statement that the closure will begin at 5pm ET Thursday. Lawmakers, aides, journalists, and official visitors will be allowed into the buildings. The statement says officials are acting "out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public." Soon after that news, the White House announced it would be temporarily suspending public tours, though Fox News notes the announcement didn't specifically reference the outbreak of the virus that causes COVID-19: "Out of an abundance of caution, all White House tours have been temporarily suspended, effective immediately." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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