Indoor portions of National Mall closed because of pandemic

All indoor portions of the National Mall in Washington are closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, federal officials said Saturday.

The closure includes the Washington Monument, which had been temporarily closed for the presidential inauguration, the National Park Service said in a statement.

It called the closure “a measure to protect staff and visitors from the spread of COVID-19.”

The shutdown means associated memorial parks, including Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site and the Old Post Office Tower, are closed.

Public restrooms and outdoor memorials would remain accessible, officials said.

The District of Columbia reported 172 new Covid-19 cases Saturday, bringing its pandemic case total to 35,077.

“The National Park Service will monitor public health conditions in the Washington, D.C. area, as well as the opening status of other nearby visitor attractions, and reopen the Washington Monument and other indoor park facilities as soon as it deems it is safe to do so,” the park service said.

Alec Hernandez contributed.

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