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Shedd Aquairum Closed to Public in Precautionary Effort to Help Protect Community Health

Aminal caretakers and veterinarians to remain onsite to continue best-in-class animal care and welfare

March 13, 2020

A clownfish, about the length of an adult's little finger, swims nearby to the stubby-fronded anemone it calls home.

Shedd Aquarium will be closed to the public for two weeks beginning this afternoon in support of city and statewide preventative measures to limit the additional spread and transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Shedd will remain closed for two weeks until March 29 and will continue to assess and monitor updates daily from health officials. During this period, all scheduled events and programs are also cancelled but may be rescheduled.

“We have a responsibility to communities, schoolchildren, staff, volunteers and more to do our part to help protect the public’s health by temporarily supporting the effort for social distancing,” said Dr. Bridget Coughlin, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the aquarium soon to continue to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.”

Critical operations staff will continue working onsite at the aquarium to provide vital care to the animals and infrastructure. This includes Shedd’s dedicated caretakers and veterinarians, who will continue to provide the highest standards of professional care and welfare for all animals onsite. Additionally, employees who can work from home will continue to do so, and those who do not have the option to work from home will be still be compensated according to their regular working schedule and rate for the two-week period.

The aquarium is offering ways for the public to stay connected during the closure, including frequent looks at animals and work behind-the-scenes via Shedd’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as other digital resources including videos, live web cams, educational materials and more.

Shedd will continue to work in support of City of Chicago and State of Illinois officials, in addition to following recommendations provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and US State Department to determine a return to public operations.

Guests are being contacted with options to put the value of their tickets and/or reservations toward a future date, request a refund, or donate the value to mitigate inevitable financial impact of COVID-19 on the Aquarium at this time. For information on previously purchased tickets, group and experience reservations, programs and events, please email [email protected] or call (312) 939-2438. Updates to operations will also be made available on Shedd’s website at