COVID-19 outbreaks surge at L.A. County malls as holiday shoppers continue to pour in

Paola Hernández watched as shoppers at the Citadel Outlets bumped shoulders and ignored signs directing foot traffic under bow-adorned palm trees. Two girls stood a few feet behind her licking ice cream cones, even though eating has been banned in malls.

Hernandez, 57, and her daughter went to the outdoor mall in Commerce on Monday when they weren’t able to find the holiday presents they wanted to buy online, she said. But even sitting on a bench outside had started to feel unsafe when, despite a sign stating it seated only two, a third person sat down next to her.

“I do feel scared. … A lot of us don’t follow the rules. That’s the problem,” said Hernandez, who lives in El Monte. “The virus is in the air.”

In this latest, most dire phase of the pandemic, as millions of Californians have been asked to stay home and avoid their families for the holidays, packed shopping malls have become a flashpoint.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

At the Northridge Fashion Center, 12 J.C. Penney employees recently tested positive for the coronavirus, as did 10 at Kohl’s in the South Bay Galleria in Redondo Beach and 24 at the Best Buy in the West Hollywood Gateway retail center, prompting a six-day closure of the store.— Soumya (@skarlamangla) December 23, 2020

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