Tennessee Aquarium lays off 112 employees amid coronavirus outbreak

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The Tennessee Aquarium announced it has laid off 112 part-time employees due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a message to staff and volunteers, aquarium President Keith Sanford said, "The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency continues to have profound impacts on everyone. The tourism industry has been particularly hard hit by this crisis, including the Tennessee Aquarium.

Due to the uncertainty regarding the duration of this crisis, we don’t know how long we will have to remain closed to the public. Therefore, we have had to fully re-assess our financial situation. And regrettably, for the first time in the Aquarium’s history, this means hardships for our team."

Sanford added that the pandemic comes at the "worst possible time" for the aquarium as the spring season is when they "begin to re-build our cash reserves."

The aquarium is closed until at least March 27. You can donate to their fund to continue taking care of the animals here.

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