JFK Library to Close Due to Potential Exposure to Coronavirus

News Release
March 11, 2020
Press contact: Matt Porter (978) 764-4255

JFK Library to Close Due to Potential Exposure to Coronavirus
-- Public and educational programs will not occur and the research rooms will be closed --

Boston MA – The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is closing immediately and until further notice after learning that two employees attended a conference at the Row Hotel in Somerville, MA last week where other attendees were confirmed to have come down with the coronavirus. Neither of the Library employees have shown symptoms and both are in self-quarantine. While neither of our employees have shown symptoms and the risk of transmission is low, we are notifying the public out of an abundance of caution. If you have visited the Library between March 5 and March 11, please monitor your health for symptoms of coronavirus, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you experience symptoms, please seek medical care. The Library has been working with state public health officials to ensure all proper health measures are taken.

In response to the state of emergency declared by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Tuesday and concerns of “community spread” of COVID-19, the Library expects to remain closed until further notice. Although we will either cancel or reschedule large public events for the next couple of weeks, we currently plan to reopen the facility to staff and general admission as soon as possible. 

The Museum will not be open to visitors during this time. All forums and other public and private events held at the Library will not occur, some events may be rescheduled to a later date if possible. School visits and other education programs scheduled during the closure will be cancelled.

“Our concern for the safety of our employees, visitors, and surrounding community are paramount,” said Library Director Alan Price. “We believe it is important for us to shut down operations during this time to allow for the cleaning of all staff and visitor areas.”

The building will continue to be staffed by security officers and maintenance workers during the closure. Library artifacts and exhibits will be safe and maintained.  Staff of the John F. Kennedy Library and John F. Kennedy Library Foundation will telework to the extent possible during the closure. 

“I understand this action will be disruptive to many who have planned events scheduled here at the Library. We also understand this will be disruptive to our dedicated vendors who depend on the business of hosting events here at the Library and elsewhere,” said Price. “However, we must consider public health and safety priority number one.”

The Library is coordinating its response with state and local health officials and the National Archives. The Library staff is reaching out to anyone with upcoming scheduled events in the building and will update any changes on its website along with its social media channels.

About the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of 14 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and supported, in part, by the Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization.

About the JFK Library Foundation

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

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