White House, Supreme Court Closes To The Public As A Safety Measure Against Coronavirus

President Donald Trump stands behind his desk in the Oval Office of the White House on February 9, 2017. (Photo credit by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
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March 12, 2020 3:57 p.m.
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White House tours have been cancelled amid the COVID-19 epidemic, and the Supreme Court will be closed to the public indefinitely beginning late Thursday afternoon.

“Out of an abundance of caution and until further notice, White House tours have been canceled,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere told TPM in an email.

“Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public from 4:30 p.m. on March 12, 2020, until further notice,” a notice on the Supreme Court website read.

The building will still be open “for official business,” according to the site, and case filing deadlines will not be extended.

The U.S. Capitol was also closed to the public on Thursday.

“We are taking this temporary action out of concern for the health and safety of congressional employees as well as the public,” House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger said in a statement. “We appreciate the understanding of those with planned visits interrupted by this necessary, but prudent, decision.”

Additionally, large non-government institutions in the U.S. have shut down in response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus; the NBA and the NHL have suspended their seasons, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) ordered the shutdown of Broadway theater shows and other events holding more than 500 people.

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