As Loudoun County anticipates a gradual beginning to reopening next week, one of its largest shopping destinations has reopened.
Leesburg Premium Outlets reopened today, operating under a COVID-19 Exposure Control Policy that details enhanced safety protocols including sanitization and disinfection practices using CDC-approved products with an emphasis on high-traffic locations; the availability of protective masks, hand sanitizing stations, and sanitizing wipes for shoppers; temperature testing at entrances or property offices; employee safety practices including providing personal protective equipment to employees; and social distancing practices throughout the center, including occupancy limitations in stores, furniture and restroom spacing, closed play areas, and coordinating traffic flow with traffic signage and distance markers.
Although Virginia’s COVID-19 related businesses restrictions did not shutter non-essential retail stores—only limiting them to 10 people inside at a time—the outlet owners decided to close March 19.
The company’s announcement of the reopening noted that it could provide an economic boost to the region, as it provides 980 jobs, and more than $17 million annually in combined sales and property taxes to the state of Virginia.
“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 protocols highlighting the exceptional measures we’ve implemented for shoppers, retailers, and employees as we reopen,” stated Jim Gonzales, general manager of Leesburg Premium Outlets. “We also recognize that individuals and families in our community are suffering significant hardship as a result of both COVID-19 and the economic shutdown, and we believe that reopening our property will not only help people get back to work during these challenging times, but also enable us to use our property to further support charitable initiatives.”
According to the press release, the outlet mall 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 nonprofits.