Simon plans to reopen The Empire Mall next week

April 30, 2020

Note: This reopening has been rescheduled for May 8 since this story was originally published.

The Empire Mall plans to reopen Tuesday, according to information on the website of property owner Simon.

Simon announced the first 49 of its shopping centers would start reopening nationwide Friday.

That’s doesn’t necessarily mean all tenants will be open Tuesday n Sioux Falls. Those might be staggered as businesses in the mall are ready to make the needed adjustments to their operations.

Simon also has posted information on its website about how it’s approaching changes to operations.

“Our employees, contractors and vendors will be required to screen themselves at home prior to coming to work. If they have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees or exhibit flulike symptoms – cough, body aches – they will be required to stay home. Additionally, those exposed to COVID-19 will be required to quarantine at home until they are symptom-free for at least 72 hours and satisfy other CDC requirements prior to returning to work,” it said.

“Similar temperature testing and health screenings in compliance with CDC guidelines will take place upon arrival at the property prior to working. All employees that fail the CDC-compliant health screening will be asked to return home. We recommend that tenants also implement these protocols.”

Employees will wear protective face masks while on the property and are being told to maintain safety guidelines, including staying 6 feet apart from others whenever possible.

There also likely will be markers such as these for shoppers to maintain distancing.

Simon said it plans to make sure overall property occupancy does not exceed one person per 50 square feet of space.

“As needed, we will restrict the number of open entrances to the property while complying with local fire code requirements and have queueing protocols in place to manage traffic,” it said. “Each tenant will be responsible for managing to targets set by state or local authorities for their leased spaces.”

Food court seating will be limited and spaced in a way to encourage social distancing. Additionally, no reusable customer service items will be available such as trays. Common area seating also will be reduced and reconfigured to support social distancing.

All play areas, stroller and valet stations, and drinking fountains will be temporarily closed

There also will be directional signage and floor decals to encourage better traffic flow.

In restrooms, every other sink and urinal will be taped off to encourage the proper spacing between individuals.

“Each night, the common area of the property will be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected using products that meet or exceed CDC guidelines. Each retailer should do the same for their store,” Simon said.

“Additionally, during mall hours, we will regularly sanitize and disinfect high touchpoint areas, including restrooms, seating areas, escalator/stair handrails, trash bins, door knobs and handles, directories, food court tables and chairs, etc. Each tenant should perform the appropriate cleaning of their space.

“Shoppers will be encouraged to take their temperatures and perform health checks prior to visiting our properties and to refrain from visiting the property if they exhibit any flulike symptoms. Anyone exposed to COVID-19 will be expected to remain at home in quarantine until they are symptom-free for at least 72 hours and satisfy other CDC requirements.

“All shoppers will be encouraged to wear masks or facial coverings while shopping. They will also be encouraged to frequently wash or otherwise sanitize their hands while shopping, and we will make available sanitizing stations throughout the property.

“Additionally, we will also provide, free of charge, CDC-approved masks and individual sanitizing wipe packets to shoppers requesting them. Finally, we will make free temperature testing available to shoppers, using infrared thermometers,” Simon said.

Hours are expected to be adjusted to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m.  Sunday.

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Simon plans to reopen The Empire Mall next week

The Empire Mall is getting ready to reopen. Here’s what to expect.

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