COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. – Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights is preparing to reopen Friday with new guidelines and policies.
Stacey Keating, a spokesperson for Southpark Mall, says management understands some people may be concerned about coming to a large public space during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s part of the reason why they’re putting a number of protective measures in place.
“We recognize the role that we play within our community, we are a provider of goods and services and we are a large employer in the market and so we are looking forward to welcoming people back, but we want to make sure they’re comfortable with the measures that we put into place because the communities health is definitely top of mind as we reopen,” Keating said.
8News spoke with Five Below customers outside of the mall who say they’re ready to get out of the house. Arthur Goodrich and his daughter Jade are excited for stores to reopen to bring life back into the community.
“I think it’s a good thing,” Goodrich said. “Gives people something to do, but at the same time you have to be safe and make sure you’re taking precautions and everything.”
The mall wants to remind customers to be mindful of social distancing when doors open.
“We are closing a lot of our common areas, seating, and gathering places so that we can keep groups to less than 10 people in the same area at the same time,” Keating said. “Our food court seating will be spread out so that we can maintain social distancing.”
According to the Southpark Mall website, there is a long list of other safety measures in place as they adjust to a new normal:
- Following all applicable guidelines set forth by local officials and/or health departments.
- Encouraging everyone on property to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Prohibiting groups of more than 10 people congregating in the mall common area.
- Cancelling or postponing all mall events until further notice.
- Limiting the amount of available food court seating to comply with social distancing guidelines.
- Closing the following public gathering areas:
- Children’s play area
- Soft seating areas and common area gathering spaces
- Drinking fountains
- Requiring mall management staff to wear masks while in common areas, public spaces or when other individuals are present.
- Requiring all vendors and contractors to wear masks in the common areas, public spaces or when other people are present.
- Encouraging our retailers to provide their employees with masks and that employees wear masks while interacting with others, when in the mall common area or public spaces.
- Placing hand sanitizer units throughout the property.
- Conducting temperature checks on all mall management, security and janitorial staff upon the start of each shift. Requiring that anyone with a fever of 100.4 F or higher and/or anyone experiencing other symptoms return home and contact their healthcare providers.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing all high-traffic common areas with an enhanced focus on all touch points with CDC-recommended cleaning agents.
- Requiring each store and restaurant to follow applicable guidelines set forth by relevant government orders; which could include but is not limited to: occupancy restrictions, social distancing markers in checkout lines, cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and the closure of fitting rooms.
“It’s definitely been an interesting time to navigate through and we’ve been working on our reopening plan since we’ve closed,” Keating added.
While the mall is set to reopen, some retailers have decided to remain closed. Click here to read a full list of stores that will be open for business.
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