Arlington National Cemetery closes to visitors due to coronavirus

Julia LeDoux
March 13, 2020 - 10:00 am

Arlington National Cemetery

The sign at Arlington National Cemetery says closed today as America’s premier military cemetery shuttered its gates to most visitors in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“U.S. Army and Department of Defense Guidance is clear,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, executive director, Office of Army National Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery in a release announcing the closure. “Force health protection is paramount.”

The cemetery will be open to family pass holders only for visitation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Durham-Aguilera said the cemetery has a responsibility to not only protect its employees but the families of the fallen and visitors who come to Arlington each day.

“We do not make this decision lightly, but closing our doors to visitors allows us to focus our energy and resources on our core mission of safely laying our nation’s warriors to rest,” she continued.

Funerals will be conducted as scheduled, but family members should call 1-800-907-8585 for information on how to reschedule a memorial service or new arrival procedures.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the virus has infected 91,773 people worldwide and led to 3,337 deaths. Of the number who have been infected, 64, 374 have recovered.

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