HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has made an emergency order amid growing global concerns over coronavirus.

The mayor said in a Facebook post that he has ordered the closure of Holyoke Mall and other similar retail establishments, with some exceptions:

  • Target will remain open
  • Grocery stores will remain open
  • Pharmacies will remain open

Holyoke Mall officials said that the mall - except Target and restaurants with exterior access for pickup and delivery - will close at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The emergency order applies to all retail operations which meet the following thresholds, including:

  • Occupancy loads of 50 people or more
  • They are physically connected by common ways in structures classified as "covered malls" pursuant to state building code.

The city noted, however, that the exceptions include:

  • Closure only applies to public access to the establishments.  Staff and delivery access is still permissible at this time.
  • Retail establishments connected to common ways in indoor malls which have individual, public access to the exterior may remain open as long as their listed occupancy limit is below the thresholds listed above. However, access between the retail establishment and common ways of indoor malls shall remain closed.
  • Retail establishments that offer sales of grocery, pharmacy, medical supplies, pet food or supplies or take-out food goods, and that have direct public access to the exterior of the structure (i.e. not to indoor common ways) may remain open to the public. These businesses should follow the US Center for Disease Control and Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines to enact social distancing practices and take precautionary actions that limit the congregation of customers within their establishments.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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