Chicago area malls close amid COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic
Data pix.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Dozens of malls across the United States will close their doors as they try to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company that owns Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg announced its closing all its retail properties effective at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Simon Property Group said its closing all its malls, premium outlets and malls across the U.S. until March 29, saying the health and safety of shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance which is why they are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This also affects Chicago premium outlets in Aurora, Gurnee Mills and Orland Square.
Simon owns nearly 200 malls and other retail outlets in the county.

Those who work and shop at Woodfield say they saw this coming.

“I work at Banana Republic we've been waiting all week listening to phone calls from corporate,” Jamie Riley, a mall employee, said. “Yesterday 80% of the stores were already closed.”

“I think everything is probably going to be locked down in a week,” Bianca Ferreri, a shopper, said. “That would probably be safer for everybody instead of a month slowly shutting everything down we should do everything at once keep it contained and move forward.”

The Banana Republic employee said she was told employees will be paid for a week or possibly up to two weeks during the closure. However, if it lasts longer than that, they will have to use PTO and sick time.

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