The Westchester Mall in White Plains among malls shutting down temporarily

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Shopping malls across the country and the Hudson Valley are closing due the coronavirus pandemic.

The Westchester Mall in White Plains, which is owned by Simon Properties, is one of many malls around the U.S. either already closed or closing this week.

CORONAVIRUS TRACKER - Cases in the tri-state area

The decision to close the Westchester Mall comes after Simon announced it was temporarily shutting down all of its properties nationwide on Wednesday night.

The closure started Wednesday at 7 p.m. and will continue until at least March 29.

This is the latest decision in the growing battle between good public health policy and trying to keep people employed and the economy going. 

The state hopes closing the malls in addition to its other new protocols like banning gathering of 50 people or more, closing bars and restaurants to in-house service, shutting down gyms and casinos will keep people home and the virus from spreading. "Shut it down, everybody stay home. Better safe than sorry later, " says Giuseppe Algieri, of White Plains.

But the decision will definitely take a toll on the economy. 'The Westchester' for example has hundreds of employees, and now no one will be spending their money there.  "Hopefully they'll get some checks out for people who really need it," says Marge, of White Plains. 

The Westchester Mall has 150 stores and restaurants, according to Simon Properties, meaning hundreds of people at this location are temporarily out of work for the next 10 days. The decision comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed all gyms, movie theaters, and dine-in service at all restaurants and bars statewide, as well as ordered non-essential businesses to have half of their employees work from home in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Other malls in the area, including the Palisades Center in West Nyack, Poughkeepsie Galleria in Poughkeepsie, and the Galleria at Crystal Run in Middletown, are closing the indoor portions of their facilities tonight at 8 p.m. until the state allows them to reopen.

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