MacArthur Center reopens to public: 'We had people waiting outside'

Posted at 10:36 PM, May 21, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - People couldn’t wait to get out of the house and into the mall.

“I needed to get in my steps. I needed to walk,” Patti Shawn. She lives nearby.

And others needed to get back to work.

“My unemployment checks were delayed. I started to get nervous with my bills and not being able to pay them,” said mall employee Michelle Huynh.

Huynh works at a boutique inside MacArthur Center.

“My job did provide us with hand sanitizers gloves and face masks right before we even walked in the door,” she adds.

To prevent the spread of the virus, there are now hand sanitizers at every entrance. And there is no longer a place to sit and eat upstairs.

“You can still go up to the food court and order from one of the kitchens, but there is no actual dining inside,” said MacArthur Center General Manager Jim Wofford.

Related: List of Virginia Beach Town Center stores, restaurants currently open for business

Mall leaders still want you to try to keep a six-foot distance between you and the next person. Wofford says, “Think about not only yourself, but the customers and friends you may encounter when you’re here.”

Masks are not required, but they are encouraged. Employees hope the increased safety precautions will welcome more people into the mall and keep stores open.

“I don’t want my store to shut down,” Huynh said.

“I think there are some retailers that won’t open certain stores,” said Wofford – but he’s hopeful. “I think the retail world will be fine once this is over with. Again, it's entertainment; it’s what people do.”

Some stores restaurants at the center also offer curbside pick-up. The malls hours are now Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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