TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The Towson Town Center mall reopened to shoppers Saturday, the first full day malls in Maryland were able to open their doors to shoppers since the coronavirus shuttered them roughly three months ago.
Malls, casinos and gyms were among the businesses that were able to reopen at 5 p.m. Friday as the state lifts more coronavirus-related restrictions.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: More Than 1K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Sunday
A number of shoppers took to the stores while being asked to follow social distancing guidelines. Emily Brophy with Towson Town Center said there were even lines at some stores on Saturday.
“We’re just excited to see people out and about,” she said.
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About 30 percent of the mall’s stores — roughly 60 in total — are open. Others plan to open in the coming days and weeks.
Curbside pickup options will remain for those who don’t want to venture inside.
“We want to give different options for people knowing people are (at) different comfort levels,” Brophy said.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Grazed By Bullet In Southwest Baltimore, Police Say
The Towson Chamber of Commerce said the mall is a huge economic engine for the community; during the three-month closure, hundreds of people were out of work.
“The Towson Chamber of Commerce wants to tell all the store owners and managers how happy we are that they are back with their family again,” executive director Nacy Hafford said.
With more than 10 million people visiting the mall each year, staff are trying to make sure they’re following safety guidelines to keep workers and guests healthy. On Saturday, security guards handed out masks to those who needed them.
“We added hand sanitzer stations, we spaced out common areas and food area seating, we added a lot of social distancing signage to remind people of guidelines the state and county has mandated,” Brophy said.
For now, the mall has limited its hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sundays, when it’s open from noon to 6 p.m. Masks are required.
For the latest list of open stores, click here.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Maryland: 1.5K New Cases & 17 Deaths Reported Saturday