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Ask Us: When will West End Plaza open for walkers?

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to askus@salisburypost.com.

SALISBURY — A staple in many malls, so-called “mall walkers” prefer to walk inside rather than outside.

One reader asked when the West End Plaza will be open for walkers again since it has been closed due to COVID-19. The 33,800-square-foot, county-owned facility sits on Jake Alexander Boulevard.

“Currently under phase two, we we still are not allowing mall walkers,” said Don Bringle, parks and facilities director for the county.

Although people can go to some areas of the former mall to access services located inside the plaza, including the Rowan County Veteran’s Service Office, mall walkers cannot use the space to exercise, Bringle said.

What happens next largely depends on state mandates, Bringle said.

Phase two went into effect on May 22 and allowed for some changes to social distancing protocols. It is currently set to expire June 26, Bringle said. Once North Carolina goes into phase three, then county officials can consider opening the space to walkers again, he said.

Currently, the NC.gov’s frequently asked questions page about phase two says that it “remains in place until June 26, 2020, unless changed or canceled.”Another section says phase two will be in place until data shows the state is prepared to move forward with phase three.

Walkers can walk on the sidewalks around West End Plaza if they want, Bringle said. Moreover, county park trails have remained open for exercise. Restrooms and tennis courts opened under phase two, Bringle said. The Dan Nicholas Park Facebook page also says that fishing is open.

However, many other park amenities, including playgrounds, are still closed per state mandate. There is also still a 25 person limit to gatherings of people outdoors.

These precautions are on behalf of the safety of both employees and the general public, Bringle said.

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