Some Long Island shopping malls set to reopen to customers this week
At least two Long Island malls have been given the green light to reopen this week.
Roosevelt Field in Garden City will open Friday, and Broadway Commons in Hicksville will open on Saturday.
The move comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that malls could reopen on Friday if they were in regions that were in phase four. To reopen, the malls have to have high-efficiency air filtration systems to help control the spread of the virus.
Broadway Commons says not all stores inside will be open come Saturday.
It already has an HVAC air filtration system in place that would comply with New York state's requirements for reopening, but it wants one that works even better. Their team is meeting with HVAC experts to upgrade their system ahead of the planned Saturday reopening.
Spokesperson for Pacific Retail, owner of Broadway Commons, Amaka Oweazim said they are giving themselves another day to get ready because they've still got to welcome back staff, too.
"A lot of us have been out since March so to get everyone in— housekeeping, security guards, our maintenance crew—we just have to have more time to get everyone in because we thought we were going to reopen in August based off what was happening," she explained.
They also want to make sure all health and safety measures are in place to keep shoppers and employees safe.
Sanitizing stations at entrances have been set up along with signs encouraging social distancing.
To prevent overcrowding, they've come up with a plan to limit mall access.
Oweazim explained, "We have eight entrances to the mall. A few of them we will be designating as only entering and one will be only leaving. We will also be limiting the people who will be coming in and counting and will have guards at every entrance."
Steps that malls like the Broadway Commons are taking aren't enough to get some Long Islanders back inside. Jennifer Calamia from Plainview said, "For me, I'm not going to go. If it's not something I can enter from a parking lot I don't feel safe."
Calamia said she is concerned about too many people inside stores.
"It's inevitable that we are going to get sweaty and start moving and touching things," she added.
Curbside pickup, which started shortly after Broadway Commons closed in March, will continue after it opens for those who are concerned about going inside.