‘I’m not worried’: Shoppers return to Valley View Mall as it reopens

Mall closed since March 25

ROANOKE, Va. – There was no massive crowd waiting outside Valley View Mall as it reopened, but there were people trickling in and out two or three at a time.

Most people were wearing masks, though wearing one is not required.

While it’s open again, the mall is operating under different hours. Monday through Saturday, it’s open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Sunday, its hours are noon to 6 p.m.

“No, I’m not worried (about catching the coronavirus),” shopper Gloria McDaniel said on her way into the mall. "I’m just at that age that I’m not worried. As long as I have my face mask on, I think I’ll be good, and keep my 6 feet.”

“I just don’t worry about it. You just live one day at a time," James Heighter said.

A customer enters Valley View Mall shortly after it opened Friday morning. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

“I just look at it this way, everybody just try to take care of themselves the best they can and you just take it from there. That’s all you can do I guess," said Roy Aust.

“I try to maintain my distance, keep 6 feet, follow the guidelines," said Robbie Rice. "For me, it’s an experience just to get away and finally be able to walk around.”

Mall spokeswoman Stacey Keating said extra cleaning is being done and mall staff and security will be making sure people do not gather in groups of more than 10.

Seating areas will also be closed and mall staff will be required to wear a mask when they’re in the mall common areas.

She said the mall will adjust as needed if coronavirus cases spike locally as a result of businesses reopening.

“We’ll continue to monitor updates that come out from the governor’s office and local health departments and we’ll adjust our operations based on their requirements," Keating explained.

She also encouraged shoppers Friday to check the mall’s website before coming, as some businesses may choose not to open yet.