A Tate Modern Employee Has the Coronavirus, But the Museum Says It Has Undertaken a Deep Clean and Will Remain Open

The staffer has not been working at the museum since March 2, but the diagnosis was only confirmed this week.

The museum will remain open after a back-of-house staffer tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images.
The museum will remain open after a back-of-house staffer tested positive for coronavirus. Photo by Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images.

The Tate Modern museum in London has confirmed that a staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this week.

The employee, who does not work in any front-of-office capacity, is self-isolating and experiencing mild symptoms. They are said to have contracted the illness from a personal friend who got it while traveling abroad.

The news, which was reported first by the Art Newspaper, comes on the heels of museum closures around the world, including in New York, where employees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art began exhibiting flu-like symptoms, and in Boston, where the four biggest museums have closed.

Officials at Tate Modern, however, say the museum will remain open because the sick employee had no direct contact with the public, and had only been at work for one day (Monday, March 2) while they were infectious.

“All areas with which they have come into contact have been deep cleaned,” a spokesperson told the Art Newspaper. “The galleries remain open and work areas continue to be operational.”

In addition, the museum is contacting the “very small number of people” whom the staffer may have come into contact with, and is encouraging those individuals to follow public health guidelines.

The museum says it has also increased the “level of cleaning in the galleries and office spaces as a pre-emptive measure.”

The museum did not respond to Artnet News’s requests for comment.


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