Gov. Cuomo Agrees to Allow Shopping Malls To Open on Friday, July 10 with One Caveat

Gov. Cuomo Agrees to Allow Shopping Malls To Open on Friday, July 10 with One Caveat

NEW YORK—In a press conference this morning Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will allow enclosed shopping malls in regions that have entered phase four to open on Friday, July 10 as long as they install air filtration systems to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The governor said that shopping mall owners must install air filtration systems in order to open. The state is recommending the installation of MERV systems rated either 13, 12 or 11.

Prior to the announcement, the governor received some criticism from local officials over the fact that shopping malls in the Hudson Valley were still closed despite entering phase four of the reopening process. Other sectors still not allowed to open include casinos, gyms and health clubs and movie theaters.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day in a video COVID briefing on Tuesday, while initially praising the governor for his phased reopening process, criticized state government for not fully reopening the economy in phase four.

However, after the governor’s announcement concerning shopping malls, Day said in a prepared statement, “We are pleased that the governor has finally set a date for malls to be allowed to reopen. Continuing to subject the hundreds of small businesses that operate within the Palisades Center and elsewhere around New York State to unfair and unnecessary regulation would have had devastating economic consequences. These spaces are reopening with significant additional precautions in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers.”

Pyramid Management Group, the owner of a number of shopping centers in the Hudson Valley, including the Galleria at Crystal Run in Middletown and the Palisades Center in West Nyack, had also released a critical statement on the state’s position on shopping malls this morning prior to the governor’s announcement.

Pyramid later upon a request from Real Estate In-Depth, released a much more positive statement.

Stephen J. Congel, CEO of Pyramid Management Group, stated, “The governor’s announcement was great news for Pyramid’s tenants, their employees, our own employees, and all of the people living in the communities where our properties are located. With proper precautions in place and health and safety a top priority, we look forward to restoring our centers to their dominant positions as the economic drivers of their respective regions.”

He added, “We applaud New Yorkers who have been adhering to social distancing guidelines under extremely difficult circumstances over the past four months. This has clearly driven the decline of COVID-19 cases across the state. We are ecstatic to welcome them back safely and responsibly to our properties, and pledge to continue to do our part moving forward. We look forward to re-opening our properties on Friday across New York State.”

The governor also announced that he has added three more states to the list of now 19 states that require travelers coming from those states to New York to quarantine for 14 days. The three new states are Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma.

In terms of school reopenings, the governor said that the state would issue guidance by July 13. School districts will then have until July 31 to submit reopening plans to the state and the state would then issue decisions on those district reopening plans from Aug. 1-7.

In response to President Trump’s statements that he would exert pressure and possibly hold back funding from states that chose not to fully reopen schools, the governor said, “School reopenings are a state decision, period. That is the law, and that is the way we’re going to proceed.”

The governor also announced that of the 57,585 COVID tests conducted by the state on July 7, 1.2% returned positive. A total of 10 people statewide died from complications of the coronavirus on Tuesday.


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