The largest shopping mall in the United States will temporarily close in a bid to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
The Mall of America, located in Bloomington, Minn., will be shutting down as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a message greeting visitors to the shopping complex’s website. Officials expect the mall to remain closed through "at least March 31."
“Our top priority at Mall of America is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our tenants, guests, and team members,” began the message.
The mall, which opened in 1992, is said to attract “tens of millions” of visitors annually -- which in and of itself is one of the major reasons it will be shutting down for the coming weeks.
“Mall of America brings people together, and it will continue to do so once we are past this current situation,” the message continued. “But that ability to attract people is precisely why we made the decision to temporarily close our doors.”
The mall cited guidance from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, who urged citizens to limit their “congregating” in public spaces, restaurants and bars, among other places, on Monday.
“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented actions,” the mall’s message concluded. “We are confident we will get through these challenging times, and look forward to reopening our doors to the Minnesota community and the world.”
Meanwhile, the American Dream mall in New Jersey -- which is the nation’s third-largest mall and is owned by the same parent company as the Mall of America -- closed its doors over coronavirus concerns on Monday, and will likely stay closed through the end of the month.