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Towne East Square reopens six weeks after COVID-19 pandemic began

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Towne East Square reopened today. The hours at the mall will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

As part of the reopening process, the mall published its comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy, developed in conjunction with a team of leading experts in the fields of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), in order to deliver an elevated set of safety standards at the property.

Towne East Square said enhanced safety protocols have been communicated to all tenants, who are expected to adhere to the same rigorous policies in their tenant spaces. As of Tuesday, several retailers remained closed.

“It’s changing every day, yesterday I would say we had about 20 percent of our stores open, today we have a handful of retailers open, that weren’t open yesterday, and that’s the trend we are seeing throughout the rest of the week,” said Stephanie Satrape, Towne East Square general manager. 

Health & Safety
The mall management team rigorously analyzed all aspects of the shopping experience and designed a complete set of safety protocols encompassing the following areas:

  • 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.

Towne East Square closed on March 19 in order to address the spread of COVID-19. Simon said reopening Towne East Square is an important economic engine for the local community, providing more than 2,300 jobs and contributing $13.4 million of sales tax and $1.3 million in property tax revenue to the state. These tax receipts fund essential services in communities, including education and infrastructure as well as health and safety 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 do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Satrape.

Towne East Square’s COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy can be viewed here.

In addition to reopening, Towne East Square has joined a national initiative to host food banks, clothing donations COVID-19 mobile testing and blood drives as part of an outreach to 1,300 health providers, government agencies and non-profits.

Additionally, the mall has joined forces with local non-profits to support initiatives aimed at assisting those in the community experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19.

“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 Satrape. “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.”

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