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Oklahoma mall reopens for the first time since March with restrictions to prevent spread of COVID-19

A mall in Oklahoma has reopened for the first time since it closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, but with several restrictions to prevent the spread of the deadly illness. 

Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City reopened Friday to customers wearing face masks, bathrooms with every other sink taped off and restaurants with capacity reduced down to about a third. 

The mall manager says about 45 stores out of Penn Square’s 150 stores were open as of Friday afternoon. 

Penn Square Mall in  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has reopened for the first time since it closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, but with several restrictions to prevent the spread of the deadly illness

Penn Square Mall in  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has reopened for the first time since it closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, but with several restrictions to prevent the spread of the deadly illness

Penn Square Mall in  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has reopened for the first time since it closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, but with several restrictions to prevent the spread of the deadly illness

The mall reopened Friday to customers in face masks

The mall reopened Friday to customers in face masks

The mall reopened Friday to customers in face masks

Every other bathroom sink at the mall as taped off

Every other bathroom sink at the mall as taped off

Every other bathroom sink at the mall as taped off

Restaurant capacity at the mall was reduced down to about a third to ensure social distancing

The mall manager says about 45 stores out of Penn Square’s 150 stores were open as of Friday afternoon. A Sunglass Hut at the mall was among the stores that remained shuttered

The mall manager says about 45 stores out of Penn Square’s 150 stores were open as of Friday afternoon. A Sunglass Hut at the mall was among the stores that remained shuttered

The mall manager says about 45 stores out of Penn Square’s 150 stores were open as of Friday afternoon. A Sunglass Hut at the mall was among the stores that remained shuttered

A worker at a screen protector kiosk is pictured at Penn Square Mall as the mall reopened Friday

A worker at a screen protector kiosk is pictured at Penn Square Mall as the mall reopened Friday

A worker at a screen protector kiosk is pictured at Penn Square Mall as the mall reopened Friday

‘It’s just increasing each day and sometimes by the hour. We’re not requiring the stores to open,’ says manager Jeff Runnels, KFOR reports.

‘I think it’s just going to continue to grow.’

As the mall and other businesses across the state reopened to the public, there were 3,748 confirmed cases in Oklahoma of the coronavirus and 230 deaths.

Across the US there have been 1,097,414 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 63,849 deaths. 

Oklahoma on its first day back in business last week allowed barbershops, hair and nail salons, pet groomers and spas to reopen.

Other businesses are now being allowed to reopen a week later, including restaurants and movie theaters. 

Gov. Kevin Stitt’s plan is to allow businesses to reopen as long as they practice social distancing. 

Employees and customers must wear masks if they are within six feet of each other. 

At Penn Square, customers were asked to follow signage that helped them maintain proper social distancing. Some signs were pasted to the floor to direct foot traffic safely. 

At Penn Square, customers were asked to follow signage that maintained social distancing

At Penn Square, customers were asked to follow signage that maintained social distancing

At Penn Square, customers were asked to follow signage that maintained social distancing 

Customers are pictured entering Penn Square Mall when it reopened

Customers are pictured entering Penn Square Mall when it reopened

Customers are pictured entering Penn Square Mall when it reopened

Arrows on the floor at Penn Square also helped keep people properly distanced

Arrows on the floor at Penn Square also helped keep people properly distanced

Arrows on the floor at Penn Square also helped keep people properly distanced

A couple is seen walking in the Penn Square mall after its reopening Friday

A couple is seen walking in the Penn Square mall after its reopening Friday

A couple is seen walking in the Penn Square mall after its reopening Friday

People social distance themselves while riding the escalator at the mall

People social distance themselves while riding the escalator at the mall

People social distance themselves while riding the escalator at the mall 

A mall security guard wearing a mask patrols the mall on a Segway

A mall security guard wearing a mask patrols the mall on a Segway

A mall security guard wearing a mask patrols the mall on a Segway

Some customers chose not to wear face masks as they strolled through the mall

Some customers chose not to wear face masks as they strolled through the mall

Some customers chose not to wear face masks as they strolled through the mall

Despite the restrictions, customers appeared unfazed by the new normal. 

They walked past mall security guards on patrol on Segways wearing face masks.

Some of the customers chose to stroll the mall without covering their faces. 

Among the areas off limits is the children’s play area.

The mall’s manager, Jeff Runnels, says he’s confident the new guidelines will be effective.

‘As long as they just follow the social distancing and hygiene recommendations, I think we’ll be fine,’ he said. ‘For us, this is going to go on, what we’re doing, for the foreseeable future.’

 

Source: dailymail US

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