You can now shop for masks at several high-profile malls around Dallas-Fort Worth, which have reopened after temporary closures due to the coronavirus.
As of May 1, Simon, a major mall operator, has reopened the following properties:
- Allen Premium Outlets
- Firewheel Town Center
- Grand Prairie Premium Outlets
- Grapevine Mills
- North East Mall
- Shops at Clearfork
- University Park Village
All Simon properties closed on March 19 in order to address the spread of COVID-19.
Retail stores and shopping malls across Texas are allowed to reopen at 25 percent occupancy on May 1, according to an order by Gov. Greg Abbott. Galleria Dallas, one of Dallas' largest malls, is reopening on May 4.
As part of its reopening process, Simon has published a COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy, developed with a team of experts in the fields of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), with safety standards as follows:
Enhanced sanitization and disinfecting using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved products with an emphasis on high-traffic locations such as dining areas, restrooms, escalators, stairs, directories, trash bins and door knobs.
Shopper safeguards that include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes, and temperature testing at entrances or property offices, as well as the encouragement of pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay home if they have exhibited COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours.
Hand sanitizing stations will be deployed throughout the properties.
Signage promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene will be prominently displayed throughout the properties.
Pre-emptive employee health screening to ensure that employees do not arrive at work within 72 hours of exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
Employee safety protections including implementing the CDC’s COVID-19 frequent hand-washing protocols, and offering personal protective equipment in addition to other CDC recommended practices.
Promotion and enforcement of social distancing practices, including occupancy limitations, furniture and restroom spacing, closure of play areas and strollers, as well as coordinated traffic flow with traffic signage and distance markers.
The release says that reopening will provide an economic boost to the local communities impacted by COVID-19, keeping people employed and contributing millions in sales and property tax revenue.
"Our properties are an integral part of our communities; not only in terms of shopping, dining and entertainment, but also job creation, small business growth and community support," says Simon president John Rulli. "We look forward to once again serving the needs of our communities, and do so in a safe and responsible manner."
In addition to reopening, Simon has launched a national initiative to host food banks, clothing donations, COVID-19 mobile testing, and blood drives as part of an outreach to 1,300 health providers, government agencies and non-profits.
"We also recognize that individuals and families in our communities are suffering significant hardship as a result of both COVID-19 and the economic shutdown, and we believe that reopening our properties will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times, but also enable us to use our properties to further support charitable initiatives," Rulli says.