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People rest and enjoy the day at the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art maintaining social distancing norms, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 2, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

New York's Met Museum to open 5 days a week

NEW YORK (AP) — New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art will reopen five days a week starting August 29 after being shuttered since March 13 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, museum officials announced Wednesday.

The Met's Fifth Avenue building will be open Thursday through Monday with safety protocols including frequent cleaning and visitors limited to 25% of the museum's capacity, the officials said. Face coverings and social distancing will be required.

"Perhaps now more than ever the Museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us better understand each other and the world around us," museum president Daniel H. Weiss said in a statement.

The Met's Cloisters facility in upper Manhattan will open at a later date, officials said. The Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, which the Met took over in 2016, will not reopen. It is being turned over to the Frick Collection as a temporary home during renovation of the Frick's Fifth Avenue mansion.

The planned reopening of the 150-year-old Met is the latest sign of New York's cautious resumption of normal activities as city and state officials seek to avoid a resurgence of the virus.

New York has not seen a significant uptick in infections as the state has slowly reopened its economy starting in May, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sought to crack down on travelers from states where COVID-19 is spreading at higher rates and is urging New Yorkers to wear masks, wash their hands and stay 6 feet away from others.

"We cannot go back to the hell we experienced three months ago, so please stay vigilant and New York tough," Cuomo said Wednesday.

About 1.3% of people tested in New York for COVID-19 Tuesday were positive, according to Cuomo's office. Nine deaths from the virus were reported.

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