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South Coast Plaza extending coronavirus-related closure indefinitely

Shoppers stroll through a mostly empty South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on March 16, hours before the mall closed to the public for two weeks after a store employee tested positive for the coronavirus. A mall spokeswoman said Monday that it is staying closed until further notice.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

South Coast Plaza will remain closed until further notice, a spokeswoman said Monday, the day before the Costa Mesa mall had planned to reopen following a two-week closure after a store employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

The iconic shopping plaza closed the night of March 16, with officials planning a March 31 reopening. Spokeswoman Debra Gunn Downing attributed the closure to extreme caution, not the employee’s positive test.

“Our understanding that closures of public gathering places in Orange County are important for a chance to meaningfully stem this pandemic is the reason we took this action,” Gunn Downing said in a statement at the time.

A few days after the closure, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide “stay at home” directive, calling for an end to nonessential gatherings outside the home.

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