SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) — The owners of DestinyUSA and other shopping malls across the country Friday called Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to keep malls closed “unfair and unjustified.”
Destiny had expected to reopen when other retailers and restaurants were permitted to open, but the governor reiterated on Friday that his decision that malls would remain closed indefinitely.
A news release from the Pyramid Management Group said the following:
“The State cites situations in other states where bar and restaurant patrons have crowded into tight venues without masks and social distancing being required, creating a greater risk for virus transmission. That is not in any way comparable to a vast open shopping center with millions of square feet available to socially distance, nor is it comparable to venues like ours with comprehensive safety protocols in place, including the requirement of masks.”
The governor has not allowed gyms, movie theaters, and indoor shopping malls to open under Phase Four of the reopening plan that started today in Central New York.
Pyramid cited “big box” stores that were either deemed essential early in the pandemic or were allowed to reopen in recent weeks that are more crowded with staff and patrons than the large indoor shopping mall.
The Syracuse-based mall management company also challenged the governor’s concerns about the shopping centers’ heating, ventilation. and air condition systems also referred to as HVAC.
The company said the following in a release:
“We and our tenants understand and respect the focus on public health. However, there is no documented link between HVAC systems and the spread of COVID-19 in malls. And the fact is that we already have engaged HVAC professionals to increase fresh airflow into the building, change filters and follow other recommendations. This week, we have spoken with dozens of HVAC companies who have shared that Pyramid has done considerably more than other businesses that they represent who are open… Overall, we have implemented all of the guidance released by the federal government, CDC and the State of New York. We stand prepared to re-open safely.”
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