List of DC Area Closures, Cancellations Due to COVID-19


Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in the D.C. area, driving many businesses and organizations to cancel shows, events, and New Year’s Eve parties.

Below is a list of cancelations and closures. It might be safe to assume that most large events are canceled, but be sure to reach out to the venue if you don’t see your event of interest listed.

Museums and Sites

Some Smithsonian Museums

Four Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C, will temporarily close due to COVID-19 case among staff members.

The National Museum of African Art, the National Postal Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum and the National Museum of Asian Art are set to close from Wednesday to Monday, Jan. 3.

The Smithsonian says it will reorganize staff so other museums and the National Zoo can stay open. Here are more details.

Games, Events, and Performances
First Night Alexandria

All First Night Alexandria shows and activities have been canceled to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The decision to cancel the annual New Year’s Eve event follows the Alexandria Health Department’s recommendation and the City of Alexandria’s agreement to cancel activities that encourage crowds to gather in a central location.

Fireworks over the Potomac are still scheduled to go off at midnight. The city is encouraging people to spread out and wear masks if they go watch the fireworks.

Many more Alexandria venues have canceled upcoming events. Check here for more information.

The Hamilton Live

The Hamilton Live concert venue in downtown Washington has canceled its New Year’s Eve concert as well as a concert planned for Dec. 30 due to COVID-19 concerns.

Howard University Basketball

Howard University men’s basketball team paused all activities due to positive COVID-19 test results among the program’s “Tier 1” personnel, including student-athletes, coaches, medical staff, equipment staff, game day operators, and officials.

A scheduled game with Hampton University (Dec. 30) has been canceled.

Maryland Terps Game

The Maryland men’s basketball team’s game against Loyola (MD) scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 28, has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols within the Loyola program.

The National Theatre
Performances of “Pretty Woman: The Musical” at The National Theatre were canceled and tickets can be refunded after breakthrough COVID-19 cases were found within the touring company. The performances were scheduled from Dec. 28 to Jan. 2.

National Cathedral
As COVID-19 cases climb in Washington, D.C., the National Cathedral announced that Christmas services will be held virtually this year.

Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center will delay the start of performances of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations” by nearly two weeks because of COVID-19 cases within the company.

“Even with robust precautions in place, breakthrough COVID-19 cases have been identified within the fully vaccinated company,” a Kennedy Center spokesman said in a statement Wednesday.

The musical was set to open Wednesday, Dec. 15; it now will open on Tuesday, Dec. 28. Ticket-holders will be contacted.

Primary and Secondary Schools

Arlington County Public Schools
Arlington schools will halt in-person sports and all extracurricular activities from Thursday, Dec. 30, through Jan. 14. Virtual activities can continue.

Superintendent Francisco Durán said the intent is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Another update on this decision is expected on or before Jan. 14.

Students will return for in-person classes on Jan. 3 as planned, Durán said.

Charles County
Charles County Public Schools in Maryland will delay in-person learning after winter break because of the high number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

Students will learn virtually for at least the first week back, from Jan. 3 to Jan. 7. Here’s more information.

DC Public Schools
All D.C. Public Schools will close for two days in January so that families can pick up self-test kits. Classes will be canceled on Jan. 3 and Jan. 4 so families can pick up tests at schools and use them before returning to class on Jan. 5.

Some D.C. schools shifted to virtual learning for the week of Dec. 20 because of “the operational impact of recent COVID-19 cases,” Chancellor Lewis Ferebee said.

Bard High School Early College DC, McKinley Technology High School, and Turner Elementary School moved to online learning for Dec. 20-22, before the holiday break.

Whittier Elementary previously moved to virtual learning until Dec. 22 after at least 14 cases of COVID-19 were reported in a week.

Georgetown Preparatory School
The private school, located in Montgomery County, Maryland, moved to online learning after 30 students tested positive for coronavirus.

The school closed Friday, Dec. 10, so teachers could prepare online lessons. Georgetown Prep is remaining closed the week of Dec. 13 before its two-week holiday break.

Montgomery County Public Schools
The Maryland school district announced on Friday an end to all in-person extracurricular activities through Jan. 7.

“Athletic practices and games can continue as scheduled, as a result of the vaccination requirement for winter sports student-athletes,” the district said in a statement.

Our Lady Of Good Counsel High School
The private, Catholic high school, located in Olney, Maryland, ended the semester early because of a number of COVID-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, 21 cases were confirmed at the school, a representative said.

Midterm exams will be delayed until the new year.

Prince George’s County Public Schools
All students will resume virtual learning starting Monday, Dec. 20, the school district announced Friday, citing “the rise in COVID-19 cases.” After winter break, online learning will continue through Jan. 14.

Two days earlier, the school district announced that three schools would go virtual: Benjamin Tasker Middle School, EXCEL Public Charter School and Kettering Middle School.


American University
Classes will be online from Jan. 10 to Jan. 30, the university announced. Students will be required to get a COVID test within 48 hours of when they return to campus, the school said.

All AU students, faculty, and staff will be required to get booster shots by Feb. 10, one month after the start of spring classes, or 14 days after becoming eligible for a booster, university officials announced Wednesday. The requirement applies to everyone, whether they’re on-campus, online, or hybrid. Those who have an approved vaccine exemption are exempt from the booster requirement but should continue the required testing, AU officials said.

Georgetown University
Georgetown will begin the spring semester as scheduled, but will do virtual instruction through Jan. 30, the school announced. In-person classes are expected to resume on Monday, Jan.31.

Georgetown University previously said it would require booster shots after one of D.C.’s first cases of the omicron variant cropped up within the school community. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors must get a booster shot by Jan. 21 or secure an approved medical or religious exemption, the university said. Employees who are teleworking must abide by the requirements, but anyone not yet eligible for a booster can get a deadline extension.

The George Washington University

George Washington University will begin its spring semester online so students can gradually and carefully return to campus, the school announced Wednesday. Full in-person operations are set to resume on Jan. 18.

GW had canceled in-person events and made final exams virtual, the university previously announced.

University officials attributed the decision to testing that “identified a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases among members of our university community,” they said in a release. All in-person gatherings and events are canceled immediately, and exams scheduled for Friday and through the end of the semester will be held virtually. Faculty also have the option to begin offering virtual exams sooner than Friday, GW officials said.

“At this time, we have not made any changes regarding the spring semester,” GW officials said in their release.

GW announced earlier this week that it would require booster shots by Feb. 1.

The changes took some students by surprise. One wondered if she still would get to study abroad next semester, after already postponing her plans.

Howard University
Howard University will push back the start of classes for the spring semester as Washington, D.C., grapples with a spike in COVID-19 cases. In-person classes are now slated to resume Tuesday, Jan. 18, instead of Jan. 3, Howard University said. The shift applies to graduate and undergraduate courses. Here’s more information.

University of Maryland
The university’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 98 positive cases from university testing and 12 self-reported cases Thursday.

The school is taking the following precautions, including canceling winter commencement:

    • All winter commencement activities, including the main ceremony scheduled for Dec. 20 and all college, school, and department ceremonies scheduled for Dec. 21 and 22. All winter graduates will be invited to the spring ceremony in May.
    • All indoor social gatherings where mask-wearing cannot be strictly enforced should be canceled through Dec. 22.
    • All dining halls and the Stamp Student Union food court transitioned to grab-and-go options only, effective Thursday.
    • Basketball, volleyball, and racquetball activities are suspended. All RecWell facilities will be closed from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2, with a limited reopening tentatively scheduled for Jan. 3.
    • Students living in residence halls must leave campus 24 hours after their final on-campus exam.

Finals continue as scheduled, but students and faculty must wear KN95 masks for in-person finals.