TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Mall reopened on June 29 with new policies to keep shoppers and staff safe from COVID-19.
Mall management publicized a list of changes to sanitation, occupancy, and health screenings designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Among the changes people should expect include:
- Enhanced sanitization and disinfecting using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approved products with an emphasis on high-traffic locations such as dining areas, restrooms, escalators, stairs, directories, trash bins and door knobs.
- Shopper safeguards that include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature testing at entrances or property offices, as well as the encouragement of pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay home if they have exhibited COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be deployed throughout the property.
- Signage promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene will be prominently displayed throughout the property.
- Pre-emptive employee health screening to ensure that employees do not arrive at work within 72 hours of exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
- Employee safety protections including implementing the CDC’s COVID-19 frequent hand-washing protocols, and offering personal protective equipment in addition to other CDC recommended practices.
- Promotion and enforcement of social distancing practices, including occupancy limitations, furniture and restroom spacing, closure of play areas and strollers, as well as coordinated traffic flow with traffic signage and distance markers.
A more detailed list of new protocols can be found at Simon.com and clicking through to “Health & Safety.”
“The health, safety and well-being of the community we serve will always be our highest priority, and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented for shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen,” said Tara Melodick, General Manager at Ocean County Mall. “We also recognize that individuals and families in our community are suffering significant hardship as a result of both COVID-19 and the economic shutdown, and we believe that reopening our property will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times, but also enable us to use our property to further support charitable initiatives.”
The mall had been closed since March 19. It is responsible for 1,800 jobs, $10 million in sales tax, and $2.3 million in property taxes, mall management shared. It has also hosted food banks, clothing donations, and other outreach services.
“Our property is an integral part of our community not only in terms of shopping, dining and entertainment, but also job creation, small business growth and community support. We look forward to once again serving the needs of our community, and doing so in a safe and responsible manner,” Melodick said.