Henry Ford Museum and Detroit Institute of Arts suspending public operations

Count the Detroit Institute of Arts and Henry Ford affiliated operations among the growing number of museums closing to the public due to the coronavirus.

Both announced Thursday they would be suspending operations for the time being, with Henry Ford and DIA closing until April 5th.

"We have made the decision to close all public venues at The Henry Ford effective today, March 12 at 5 p.m.," read a news release. "This includes the closing of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, the Giant Screen Experience and the Benson Ford Research Center."

"During this time of heightened vigilance, the Detroit Institute of Arts is dedicated to remaining a safe and welcoming place for our community and visitors," said the DIA release. "We are closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and following CDC guidelines to proactively protect the health and well-being of our visitors and staff."

Following recommendations from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that events featuring large groups of people should be suspended, the DIA is canceling the following public programs:

  • Daily tours
  • Drop-In Art-Making
  • Drawing in the Galleries
  • Friday Night Live!
  • Detroit Film Theatre
  • School Field Trips
  • Thursdays at the Museum
  • Family Programs
  • Behind the Seen
  • Detroit City Chess Club
  • Educator Professional Development
  • Lectures
  • Motor OM Yoga
  • Artist Demonstrations
  • Puppet Performances

The cancelations join a long list of other institutions, universities, national sports leagues, seasonal events, and any other large group gatherings also postponing future plans. Following news that a professional basketball player on the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19, the NBA announced it was ending the rest of its season. The National Hockey League and Major League Soccer followed suit earlier Thursday.

The NCAA also took drastic measures to limit games during its March Madness Tournament to have no fans, however, even the tournament might be in flux following a flurry of conferences canceling the remainder of their tournaments. 

RELATED: Track the spread of COVID-19 with our interactive map

It's likely Major League Baseball will make a similar decision later Thursday.

The large swatch of cancelations increased exponentially in Michigan following the state's confirmation that coronavirus has been discovered in two people on Tuesday. Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency and her chief health officer warned more positive cases were likely on the way.

RELATED: Full list of coronavirus cancellations and closures in Michigan 

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