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Southlake Mall taking precautions over coronavirus pandemic

Southlake Mall taking precautions over coronavirus pandemic

Southlake Mall taking precautions over coronavirus pandemic

The Southlake Mall is taking precautions amid coronavirus concerns, including sending sick employees home and removing chairs from common areas to encourage separation.

People have been stockpiling bottled water and toilet paper and hunkering down in their homes to avoid the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives worldwide.

The Southlake Mall in Hobart, the second-largest enclosed mall in Indiana, has been taking extra precautions in the hope of reassuring people it's still safe to go out shopping.

"With the global and national focus on coronavirus/COVID-19, the health and wellness of our customers and communities are, as always, our top priority," the mall said in a letter to customers. "Here at Southlake Mall, we are carefully monitoring developments and adhering to recommendations from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our local health authorities."

The mall has adopted new procedures, including adding hand sanitizer stations at critical areas like entrances, common spaces and high-touch areas. It's removed or dispersed seats in common areas to help with social distancing.

"You may have already seen that we’ve increased our thorough and stringent disinfecting practices, which include sanitizing all common spaces as well as high-traffic areas such as doors, bathrooms, water fountains and surfaces," Southlake Mall said in the letter. "You’ll see signage offering resources and recommendations to help reduce the virus’ spread. We’re working and communicating with our stores, restaurants and entertainment venues to ensure they have access to COVID-19 information and support."

Southlake Mall is reviewing which events should be suspended for community health based on CDC and local health department recommendations.

Mall management has been monitoring updates from the CDC, the World Health Organization and local authorities. Employees have been instructed to follow CDC guidelines on cleaning practices and personal hygiene.

"As always, our teams are prepared to respond quickly to increased health and safety guidelines and implement recommended precautionary measures as needed," the mall said in the letter.

Employees at Southlake Mall have been told to stay home if they or a family member is ill. They also will keep a distance from and avoid physical contact with customers.

"While we are a very friendly group, right now we’re erring on the side of caution by maintaining a healthy personal distance between others and avoiding handshakes," Southlake said in the letter.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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