Cuomo: Malls like Destiny USA need improved air filters before they can reopen
Concerned about what role malls may be playing in the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in other states, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that in order for large malls to reopen safely in New York, the owners must upgrade their facility's air filtration system.
"There are HEPA filters, which are high efficiency particulate air filters, that can actually filter out the COVID virus," Cuomo said. "The COVID virus is 0.1 microns. There are HEPA filters that can filter out 0.01 [microns]. We will make it mandatory that they have air filtration systems that can filter out the COVID virus."
Pyramid Management Group, owner of Destiny USA in Syracuse, did not respond to a request for comment, but the company released a statement last week saying the quality of their overall air circulation is as good or better than those venues that have been allowed to re-open and note that some safety experts say enclosed shopping centers present no greater risk of spreading the virus through their filtration systems than other retailers.
Destiny supports 5,000 jobs and generates $40 million annually in tax revenue for state and local governments.