The Las Americas outlets, the Fashion Valley and Mission Valley malls, and several other major shopping centers across the county have been either closed completely or limited to only essential retail.
The Las Americas Premium Outlets, Fashion Valley Mall and the Carlsbad Premium Outlets were closed until at least March 29, the malls' parent company Simon Property Group announced Wednesday.
"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers, and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," said David Simon, Chairman, CEO and President of Simon.
Westfield, which operates malls in El Cajon, Escondido, Mission Valley, and National City, said it was shutting down non-essential retail stores at its properties until further notice.
Retailers at Westfield properties that will stay open include: Bed, Bath & Beyond; Target; Trader Joe’s; USPS; Bank of America; BevMo!; and iTan Sun, Spray & Spa.
NBC 7 visited Fashion Valley Mall and found it almost empty as the the closures were announced.
“I feel like this is crazy, a lot of people are panicking, and all of the stores are closing,” one shopper said. “I really worry about this county’s economy.”
Others at Westfield UTC said the emptiness reminded them of the hit AMC show "The Walking Dead."