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Shedd Aquarium to close till 2021 citing health commitment, targets Jan 2nd reopening

CHICAGO – With city and statewide mitigation efforts in effect, the Shedd Aquarium is voluntarily re-closing to the public at 5 pm tonight. responsibility and commitment to the safety and health of people, animals, and the community.

It plans to reopen on January 2nd, 2021.

“Although we continue to be a safe place to work and visit due to limited capacity attendance, facial covering mandate and rigorous social distancing protocols, we are taking this action proactively for the positive influence it may have for all,” said President and CEO Bridget Coughlin, Ph.D. “While the aquarium’s doors may physically close, Shedd’s mission has never been more alive and open. We remain committed to creating meaningful moments of learning, joy, engagement, and respite and to do our part to continue to support the recovery and healing of our city and state.”

All essential aquarium staff will continue to work onsite to maintain the highest standards of professional animal welfare and facility operations required to care for its 32,000 animals. Additionally, employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Shedd is committed to continuing to pay all staff.

Those employees, such as guest relations staff, who do not have the option to work from home will be still be compensated for a similar duration of the initial closure should this second closure last as long. Many guest relations staff will be provided career development during the closure including taking online Spanish courses and learning more about marine biology.

The Shedd promises a renewed offering of online access to the Aquarium through socila channels and website, including the world-famous penguin field trips that sparked joy across seven continents as COVID-19 first emerged earlier this year.

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