JUNIUS — One of Seneca County’s largest employers and sales tax generators reopened Sunday with safety protocols in effect.
Waterloo Premium Outlets on Route 318 closed March 19 because of the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the reopening process, mall officials published a comprehensive COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy, developed in conjunction with a team of leading experts in the fields of epidemiology and environmental health and safety. Those protocols have been shared with all mall tenants, who are expected to adhere to the same policies in their stores.
“The health, safety and well-being of the community we serve will always be our highest priority and we have developed a thorough and detailed set of protocol highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented for shoppers, retailers and employees as we reopen,” said Jennifer Dombrowki, outlet mall general manager.
Steps taken by mall officials include:
• Enhanced sanitation and disinfecting with CDC-approved products, with an emphasis on high-traffic locations such as dining areas, restrooms, escalators, stairs, directories, trash bins and door knobs.
• Shopper safeguards that include making available protective masks, sanitizing wipes and temperature taking at entrances or property offices.
• Encouraging of pre-visit health screenings to ensure shoppers stay home if they exhibit COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms within 72 hours.
• Hand sanitizing stations deployed throughout the property.
• Signs promoting CDC guidelines for maintaining personal hygiene are displayed throughout thee mall.
• Pre-emptive employee health screenings to ensure that employees do not arrive at work within 72 hours of exhibiting COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms.
• Employee safety protections of frequent hand washing protocols and offering personal protective equipment.
• Promotion of social distancing enforcement, including occupancy limits, furniture and restroom spacing, closure of play areas and strollers and coordinated traffic flow with traffic signs and distance markers.
In addition to reopening, Waterloo Premium Outlets has joined a national initiative to host food banks, clothing donations, COVID-19 mobile testing and blood drives as part of an outreach to 1,300 health providers, government agencies and non-profits.
The mall’s 100 stores provide approxiimately 860 jobs and $7.7 million in sales tax revenue to the county and pay $654,000 in property taxes.