Simon malls closing across United States in response to coronavirus pandemic

The closures are expected to last until at least March 29. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Simon Property Group announced on Wednesday that it would be closing all of its U.S retail properties — which include over 200 shopping malls and retail outlets — in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The company confirmed its properties would close by 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said David Simon, the president, chairman and CEO of Simon, in a press release issued earlier in the day.

The group added that it came to this decision after “extensive discussions” with federal, state and local officials.

The closures are expected to last until at least March 29.

Simon’s announcement follows news of other retail centers, including the Mall of America, Macy’s and Bloomingdale's, choosing to temporarily shutter in order to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Other whole states — including Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey — are ordering shopping centers to close off indoor portions to guests, with some exceptions.

Simon operates multiple malls in Florida, including Tyrone Square in St. Pete, Tampa Premium Outlets in Lutz, Orlando Vineland and Orlando International Premium Outlets, and the Florida Mall in Orlando.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


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