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West Town Mall, other Simon-owned malls to close until March 29

All Simon malls, outlets, and mills in the U.S. will remain closed until March 29.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — West Town Mall in Knoxville will close at 7 p.m. Wednesday until the end of March to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The mall's ownership, Simon Property Group, made the announcement Wednesday -- saying all its malls, outlets, and mills in the U.S. will close until March 29.

"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said David Simon, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Simon.

Stores such as Belk had signs posted outside, asking people to shop online in the meantime.

Credit: WBIR

Numerous businesses large and small across the U.S. have taken similar measures at the urging of federal and state officials to limit crowds and prevent the spread of the virus.

Businesses essential to daily life such as grocery stores and gas stations will remain open. Many, such as Kroger and Walmart, have adjusted their operating hours to ensure they can stock shelves and keep up with the increased demand. 

Many restaurants able to provide food through take-out or drive-thru also remain open, opting to close dining areas to the public instead.

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