The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium will be temporarily closed effective Monday, March 16, until further notice, according to a press release from the zoo.

The decision to close was made to further support efforts to reduce the rapid spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and to protect the health and well-being of zoo staff and the community, the press release said. 

Animal-care workers and other essential personnel will remain active at the zoo; staff who are able to work from home will be encouraged to do so.

Zoo leadership will continue to monitor developments of the coronavirus outbreak and follow guidance from federal, state and local authorities to determine when the zoo will reopen, the press release said.