A revamped Great Northern Mall reopened Tuesday after a nearly two-month hiatus with new hours, personal sanitizer stations and some areas closed off.
All the department store anchors Dillard’s, JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears are expected to reopen, said Kristin Cala, general manager for the mall. The play area in the mall near the Macy’s mall entrance and Live 360 Studio with workshops, events and family amenities are closed for right now, as are other play areas, she said.
The mall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Regular hours prior to the coronavirus outbreak were from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The hours are not expected to be permanent and should change as the effects of the virus change, she said. Cala also said she couldn’t confirm which stores are opening or which ones will still remain closed.
Sanitizer stations have been installed by all the restrooms and workers have marked off social distance areas in public seating areas throughout the mall. Restaurants will be open for take out orders. The mall is recommending its staff, store workers and patrons use masks to help keep people safe. Individual businesses will set up how they handle social distancing and how many people they will let into their facilities.
“We’ve always kept up a regular cleaning schedule throughout the mall and work with the businesses and the community to have a safe environment,” Cala said. “We’re following the guidelines that are being set up by the state for dealing with the health issues involved.”
Cala said she could not discuss if the mall has laid off or furloughed any workers as a result of the virus.
Councilman Lou Brossard, chairman of the public health safety committee for council, said it’s a two-edged sword. “I’m glad to have it opening back up,” Brossard said. “It’s going to bring a lot of people out again. I just hope they use social distancing and practice good health standards when they are out there with a lot of other people.”
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