Malls In Phase 4 Regions Begin Reopening In New York After COVID Shutdown

Sean Adams
July 10, 2020 - 1:13 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Indoor shopping malls outside of New York City were set to reopen on Friday.

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for malls to reopen under Phase 4 so long as they have installed new “enhanced” HVAC filtration systems to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 

    The new regulation is applicable to malls in areas that are in Phase 4, including all upstate regions and Long Island. New York City is still in Phase 3 of reopening.

    “The more we learn about COVID, the clearer it is that safe ventilation is crucial,” the governor said Wednesday. 

    Though, Rockland County Executive Ed Day believes the air-circulation concerns were dramatized.

    “This whole distractive commentary about air filtration was unnecessary. I said so from the beginning. There were studies done that showed that this was not necessary,” he said.

    He says the Palisades Center Mall is gigantic with soaring ceilings and he's not worried about coronavirus inside. 

    Day says he is worried about the economy.

    “There are 5,000 people employed. Obviously, the mall being closed had a major impact on our community,” Day said.

    The Palisades Mall generates more than $20 million in property taxes and more than $20 million in sales taxes annually. 

    Day says shoppers have been crossing the border going to New Jersey to shop and now hopes the return of malls will help revamp the economy.

    On Long Island, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has been pushing for malls to reopen since before Phase 2 started. When she heard the governor's news, Curran said she got "goosebumps."

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