BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Even the biggest mall in Minnesota, and one of the largest in the world, is not immune to the impacts of the coronavirus.
The Mall of America announced that it is closing at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, and will remain closed through at least March 31 due to the fallout over COVID-19, and concerns about playing a role in the potential spreading of the virus.
"We respect Gov. Walz's leadership and decision to further enhance community mitigation to stop people from gathering and potentially spreading the disease," read MOA's post on Twitter. "We must act responsibly and comply with Gov. Walz's order because it is the right thing to do for the state, for our tenants, guests and our team members."
MOA's decision comes less than 24 hours after a mandate issued by Gov. Tim Walz ordering all bars and restaurants in the state of Minnesota to close dine and drink-in service by 5 p.m. Tuesday, and move to take-out or drive-thru only.
The closing of Mall of America retailers and the idling of thousands of employees will only put more pressure on Minnesota families and the state unemployment fund, which Walz has promised will respond quickly to workers who will not have an income while the mandatory shutdown continues.
KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here.
The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
More information on the coronavirus:
Facts not fear: What the Midwest should know about coronavirus
Current number of presumptive coronavirus cases in Minnesota and Wisconsin
Coronavirus-related cancellations, postponements and impacts in the Twin Cities
What are the 'underlying conditions' that make coronavirus more serious?