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Malls with proper guidelines and HVAC systems can open in Phase 4 regions

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Officials from Wilmorite malls said they’ve met all the requirements needed to safely open their malls, and Friday was the opening day.

Malls must have proper HVAC filtration systems in place, as well as social distancing and mask reminders throughout the mall and capacity limitations within stores.

“We understand the requirements state put in place. We met those requirements … it’s a safe place to be here,” said Eastview General Manager Mike Kauffman.

“We had to scramble the last couple days,” said Eastview General Manager Mike Kauffman. “Some of the approvals and guidelines came out on Wednesday, so we’ve been working hard to meet all of those, we are ready to go,” he said.

Each store can only let in 50% of it’s capacity, which can result in lines.

“I’m not really bothered by it, but it’s kind of annoying having to wait in lines,” said Julianna Reyes.

Not all the stores are ready to open just yet. They need to prepare, especially after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the green light for Friday just a few days prior.

“Most of the stores laid off or furloughed their employees,” said Kauffman. “They didn’t want to bring them back until the opening date. Until Wednesday, there wasn’t a lot of time for employers to get employees in place to merchandise stores and put everything in place,” said Kauffman.

Kauffman said the stores that haven’t opened yet will likely open within a week to ten days. There were 25 stores open Friday, and Kauffman said that number should go up to 100 in the next week.

Another difference is the food court: there’s no seating available yet, but stores are open for takeout and delivery. The preparation process for some of those businesses, like Marble Slab Creamery, posed a challenge.

“In food service, our goods are perishable, so you have to order and plan,” said Adam Blitz, owner of the creamery.

“We did a lot of cleaning and prep-work to get back. A lot of following guidelines, washing hands and wiping down surfaces,” said Marble Slab Creamery employee Becca Shafer.

While the experience feels different, people are glad to get out of their houses.

“It feels great, I haven’t been here in 3 months and it feels great,” said one shopper, Joe.

The hours are changed at Wilmorite malls in the area to ensure thorough cleaning overnight, and less staffing.

The temporary hours will be:
Mondays-Saturdays: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sundays: 12 p.m. to 6 op.m. (no early admittance)
Pittsford Plaza retailers and restaurants’ hours may vary

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