Mall of America Closes Until End of the Month Over Coronavirus

March 17, 2020 Updated: March 17, 2020
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Minnesota’s Mall of America, the largest in the United States, will close down until at least the end of the month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The shopping and entertainment our tenants provide is an important part of the fabric of this community. Mall of America brings people together, and it will continue to do so once we are past this current situation. But that ability to attract people is precisely why we made the decision to temporarily close our doors,” the mall wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “We must act responsibly and do our part to help slow the spread of this disease (COVID-19) that is impacting the world.”

The facility said it respects the state government’s “leadership and decision to further enhance community mitigation to stop people from gathering and potentially spreading the disease.”

“Complying with Governor Walz’ order is the right thing to do for the state, for our tenants, guests, and our team members,” it added.

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Spanish police officers check a car at the border between Portugal and Spain, following an order from the Spanish government to set up controls at its land borders over coronavirus, in Vilar Formoso, Portugal, on March 17, 2020. (Rafael Marchante/Reuters)

Gov. Tim Walz declared an emergency earlier this week and also made the decision to close all public schools. The governor also called on bars and restaurants to suspend dining operations, while museums and theaters were closed, according to reports.

“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented actions. We are confident we will get through these challenging times, and look forward to reopening our doors to the Minnesota community and the world,” the mall continued.

But local Sen. Roger Chamberlain, a Republican, said that a number of concerned business owners have questioned whether they can survive.

“One of the restaurants said, ‘we’ve separated our tables, we’re doing fine,’ Chamberlain told MPR. “They’ve got no cases in their town, no cases in their cities. So, they’re wondering why do I have to close and maybe go out of business up here in the arrowhead or western Minnesota when nothing’s going on out here.”

At least 60 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, have been confirmed in Minnesota so far, according to Fox9.

President Donald Trump, in a press conference on Monday, and administration officials called on Americans to work diligently for 15 days to try to slow the spread of the virus by avoiding crowds and staying home for the most part.

“We’re asking our older generation to stay in their homes. … We’re asking the younger generation to stop going out,” Trump coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx told reporters from the White House.