When Connecticut enters Phase 1 of its reopening plans this week, the Danbury Fair Mall will be one of the businesses back up and running, though shopping will have a different look and feel post novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Mall officials have been hard at work to prepare businesses to reopen on Wednesday, May 20, while still following the protocols and guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 crisis.
Social distancing will be encouraged in the mall’s common areas, and efforts to sanitize and disinfect surfaces will be made throughout the day by employees. The mall’s cooling system has also been revamped to improve air circulation and airflow from outside.
Employees and patrons will be required to wear masks or face coverings, and employees will wear also wear gloves. Play areas and water fountains will remain closed, while furniture in the common area and tables in the food court have been rearranging to maximize social distancing.
Additionally, hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the mall.
Mall officials have cautioned that not all stores will be reopening at the mall, and patrons should call ahead to ensure their favorite store’s doors aren’t still closed.
“That doesn't mean every store in the mall is going to be open,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton stated. “There are some stores that are ready to go, some stores that want to add certain equipment, sneeze guards and things like that. It’s up to the individual store to decide whether they're going to open on (Wednesday).”
When it reopens, the mall will do so with new hours: from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
“As we anticipate welcoming shoppers back to our center per the government ordinance, there is no higher priority than the health and wellness of our guests, employees, retailers, and community members,” Maura Ruby, senior property manager of the mall, said in a statement.
“Danbury adheres to high operating standards and now has new protocols in place to meet today’s needs, including enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, social distance queuing, path of travel, security, deliveries, furniture placement and more, all developed per industry best practices and CDC recommendations.”
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