Richland Mall keeping doors open after food court employee tests positive for COVID-19

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WACO, TX – The Richland Mall, which houses the Chick-Fil-A restaurant where an employee tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday, is not closed to the public, but most stores are keeping their doors shut.

It’s one of the few establishments not closing it’s doors under Waco’s newly signed Disaster Declaration.

“We recognize that people need to get supplies and goods, again we just urge you to use social distancing protocols in those stores,” said Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver during a press conference Thursday.

But inside the mall, looks like a ghost town. Most of it’s stores have their gates locked with signs apologizing for the inconvenience.

In a statement, the mall says “Mall hours will remain unchanged; however, certain retailers will follow their own corporate or owner guidelines for temporary closures and modified operating hours.”

Charlotte Jones walks the Richland Mall five days a week, six and a half miles a day. She says she’s prayer for the Chick-Fil-A employee who has the virus.

“I hope that it doesn’t bloom into something that’s really serious and I pray for all the other employees who were there, I pray that they don’t contract it but as far as I am personally, I’ve been through too much in my life as a pastor for me to be worried about Coronavirus,” said Jones.

Franchise Operator Jake Roye posted a statement on Facebook saying “Out of an abundance of caution, I have decided to temporarily close our Richland Mall restaurant after learning someone on our team had a confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) diagnosis.”

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health Department says they are aware of the situation, and want to assure everyone that they are safe. Adding, the positive case did not have customer exposure, and had not been at the facility in the days prior to him being tested.

“I really think it probably will even peak, it will get worse, but I think there’s power in prayer, when you put your life in the hands of Jesus Christ, there is no reason to panic because he has you,” added Jones.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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