Simon today announced that it will reopen the following properties on July 10: Roosevelt Field, Smith Haven Mall, and Walt Whitman Shops. As part of the reopening process, Simon published its comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy, developed in conjunction with a team of leading experts in the fields of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in order to deliver an elevated set of safety standards at their properties.
Simon’s enhanced safety protocols have been communicated to all tenants, who are expected to adhere to the same rigorous policies in their tenant spaces. Additionally, the properties have joined forces with local non-profits to support initiatives aimed at assisting those experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.
“The health, safety and well-being of those we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented to safeguard shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen,” said John Rulli, President of Simon. “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.”
Health & Safety
The property management teams rigorously analyzed all aspects of the shopping experience and designed a complete set of safety protocols encompassing the following areas:
- 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.
All Simon properties closed on March 19 in order to address the spread of COVID-19. Reopening provides a much-needed economic boost to the local communities impacted by COVID-19. The properties are important economic engines for their local communities, providing more than 9,800 jobs and contributing $148.3 million of sales tax and $50.2 million in property tax revenue to the state. These tax receipts fund essential services in communities including education and infrastructure, as well as health and safety services.
“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. We look forward to once again serving the needs of our communities, and doing so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Rulli.
Simon’s COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy can be viewed in its entirety by clicking here >> www.simon.com/covid19safetyprotocols.
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.