SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Malls can reopen on Friday — if they’re located in regions that have entered phase 4 of New York State’s regional economic-reopening process.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said those malls can restart if they have implemented an enhanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning — or HVAC — filtration system and follow proper ventilation protocols.
A Destiny USA spokesman confirmed to CNYBJ that the complex has upgraded the mall’s air-filtration system to meet the new requirements and will reopen Friday.
HVAC systems will be required to include filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating which filters out the COVID-19 virus. The minimum MERV rating allowed is MERV-11, but MERV-13 is preferred, Cuomo says.
Pyramid Management Company, which operates Destiny USA and other mall properties in New York, in the last two weeks was critical of the state for not allowing it to reopen its malls along with other retailers and restaurants over the concern about the HVAC system impact on recirculating the coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Pyramid issued a statement saying Cuomo’s announcement is “great news” for its tenants, their employees, its employees, “and all of the people living in the communities where our properties are located.”
“With proper precautions in place and health and safety a top priority, we look forward to restoring our centers to their dominant positions as the economic drivers of their respective regions,” Stephen Congel, CEO of Pyramid Management Group, said. “We look forward to re-opening our properties on Friday across New York State.”