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Coronavirus: Tampa Bay malls are still open, though Westfield restricts hours

COVID-19 has canceled big events, but area malls are still open for business.

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Several of Tampa Bay’s shopping malls have announced they’re cutting back their hours in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

All three of Tampa Bay’s Westfield mall locations have cut back on hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic this week.So has Tyrone Square mall, while others continue operations as normal.

Westfield Countryside in Clearwater, Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa and Westfield Brandon changed their hours on Monday to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The new hours last until at least April 5. Tyrone Square mall in St. Petersburg, which is owned by the Simon Property Group, announced the same scaled-back hours on Tuesday.

Westfield posted online that its locations remain open “so that retailers are able to serve the broader community and their customers during this unprecedented global pandemic; and so that we continue to support the local economy, ensuring that critical products and services are available to those who need them.”

Tampa’s largest mall, International Plaza, says its “monitoring the current situation with COVID-19 very closely.” The mall is not changing its hours, but said some stores have chosen to reduce their own hours or close altogether. The mall has canceled all special events through March.

Both Macy’s and Nordstrom announced that they would be closing their stores at the close of business on Tuesday. Other chains often found in malls have made similar announcements, including Apple stores, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and Urban Outfitters.

WestShore Plaza in Tampa is open regular hours, though mall manager Larry Scollo said owner Washington Prime is continuing to watch the situation. WestShore Plaza will post any decision to close or decrease hours on its social media, Scollo said.

The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel have not adjusted hours, but said on its website it has been disinfecting high-touch areas more often.

The president on Monday urged older Americans to stay home and said people should avoid crowds and eating out in an effort to combat what’s expected to be a surge in the virus.

Mall operators described the situation as fluid and said they would continue to look to health officials for guidance.

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