The American Dream is alive again.
Retail shops and indoor entertainment experiences at the Triple Five Group-owned American Dream Mall in the Meadowlands will open their doors Oct 1.
Among the retailers expected to open their doors for the first time are H&M, Primark, and ZARA. On the entertainment side, DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe, Out of This World Blacklight Mini Golf, and The Rink will welcome patrons.
Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced indoor amusement centers, like American Dream, could reopen Sept. 1. The only attraction that has opened so far at the East Rutherford mall is Big Snow American Dream.
Shuttered Since March
The property was only open for six months before the coronavirus pandemic shut it down in March, just as the mall was prepared to launch its retail wing and indoor water park.
In order to reopen, the company said it enlisted health and safety experts to develop in-depth health and safety plans for the property and each of their attractions and retailers. Their COVID-19 Health & Safety plan follows guidelines from governmental agencies, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in partnership with Hackensack Meridian Health.
Among the protocols for those entering the mall include face coverings required for entry, reduced capacities throughout American Dream and at each attraction, increased sanitizing and disinfecting throughout common areas, hand sanitizer stations and hygiene reminders installed throughout and physical distancing guidance, including ground markings, plexiglass barriers and touchless programming.
Call for Tickets
Additionally, each attraction will operate at reduced capacities and the company strongly encourages guests to book in advance of their visit.
Don and Mark Ghermezian, Co-CEO at American Dream, thanked state and local officials for their collective efforts throughout this process to get to a safe reopening.
The CEO’s expressed confidence the company will be able to provide guests a safe environment for visitors and shoppers as well as create much-needed job opportunities in New Jersey.
“We know that our community has been waiting to return, but it was important to us that we took the proper time and precautions needed to welcome guests back in the safest possible manner,” said Mark Ghermezian in a press statement.
Jim Kirkos, President & CEO, Meadowlands Chamber, sees American Dream as an economic imperative for the Greater Meadowlands region and the entire New Jersey economy.
“New Jersey needs American Dream to help revive its economy in a post-COVID-19 era,” stated Kirkos. “The opening and success of this facility makes the Meadowlands a primary destination which will provide thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic impact for communities, (generating) huge visitation for the region, filling hotels and in turn drives visitors to other local destinations. ”
As of Sept. 3, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey reached 192,973 with 455 new cases and nine new deaths, bringing that total to 14,188. The state probable death count increased to 1,783, bringing the overall total to 15,971.
State officials noted ten deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 1,890, followed by Bergen at 1,794, Hudson with 1,348, Passaic at 1,105, Morris at 685, Sussex at 161 and Warren with 158.
In regards to probable deaths, Bergen has 242, Essex has 229, Hudson has 160, Morris at 144, Passaic at 143, Sussex has 36 and Warren has 13.
The daily rate of infections from those tested as of Aug. 30 was 3.0%. State officials said spot positivity rates are highest on Wednesdays and Thursdays because they’re looking four days back to the weekend, when those with symptoms usually get tested.
As for the rate of transmission, it increased to 0.99 from 0.98 the day before. Officials have continually cited transmission rate and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
Officials reported 500 patients are hospitalized, with 99 in intensive care units and 36 on ventilators.
Bergen Tops County Count
Bergen has the most cumulative cases in the state with 21,724, followed by Essex at 20,407, Hudson at 20,206, Middlesex at 18,507, Passaic at 18,439, Union at 17,161, Ocean at 11,305, Monmouth at 10,818, Camden at 9,237, Mercer at 8,371, Morris at 7,524, Burlington at 6,499, Somerset at 5,437, Atlantic at 3,778, Gloucester at 3,731, Cumberland at 3,598, Warren at 1,399, Sussex at 1,409, Hunterdon at 1,221, Salem at 984 and Cape May at 913.
Another 305 cases are still under investigation to determine where the person resides.
The racial breakdown of the record deaths was 54% White, 20% Hispanic, 18% Black, 6% Asian and 2% another race. Murphy has noted the rates in the black and Hispanic communities are running about 50% more than their population in the state.
In regards to the underlying disease of those who have passed, 56% had cardiovascular disease, 45% diabetes, 31% other chronic diseases, 18% neurological conditions, 17% lung diseases, 15% chronic renal disease, 10% cancer and 14% other. Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli has stated most cases have multiple underlying conditions which would push the percentage of 100%.
A census of ages for confirmed deaths shows 48% of deaths are of those 80 year old and up, 31% in the range of 65-80, 16% between 50-65 and 5% under the age of 49.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 157 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 9,451 of the cases, broken down between 5,916 residents and 3,535 staff.
Cumulatively, 659 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 24,896 residents and 13,332 staff, for a total of 38,228 cases.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 7,109 on Sept. 3. The facilities are reporting to the state 6,744 residents deaths and 121 staff deaths.