Indy’s extension of stay-at-home order would keep malls shut

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that Marion County Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine would extend her stay-at-home order for Indianapolis residents until May 15th in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mayor also said that Indianapolis-based Simon Properties would not be allowed to reopen malls it owns and operates in its hometown this weekend as announced Thursday.

Simon Properties announced it was opening 49 malls in ten states beginning Friday morning.

Three of those malls, Castleton Square, Fashion Mall at Keystone and Circle Centre Mall, are located in Simon’s hometown.

There are ten Simon Malls in Indiana.

Dr. Caine said she is “concerned” that opening the malls prematurely would “undo the good work” that local health and medical authorities have done to stem the coronavirus outbreak in Indianapolis.

Marion County leads the state of Indiana with nearly 5300 positive COVID-19 cases and 305 deaths.

Dr. Caine cited the density of the state’s largest city as one factor in attempting to control the pandemic by reducing crowd sizes and prohibiting the opening of mass gathering places.

Simon Properties refused comment to Fox 59 News about its reopening plans though Mayor Hogsett’s staff reported a positive conversation with the Indianapolis-based mall giant this afternoon.

Greenwood Park Mall was also on Simon’s list for a Saturday reopening.

Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers told Fox 59 News that Simon officials informed him Tuesday of their plans and were receptive to his suggestions to further tighten opening and sanitation practices.

Myers said that Johnson County and Greenwood have no authority to restrict private entities in conducting business during the pandemic and he expects the mall to be open as announced.

Myers said he would await guidance from Governor Eric Holcomb’s expected announcement Friday afternoon on continuation of the state’s stay-at-home order before reconsidering Greenwood’s plans as did officials in Hamilton County, site of another Simon mall.

Under the revised Marion County stay-at-home order, golf courses and farmers markets will be allowed to reopen as long as attendees respect social distancing guidelines.

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