ST. PAUL — The Mall of America is shutting its doors for at least two weeks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a Tuesday, March 17 news release, the Mall of America said that after 5 p.m. Tuesday, the retail giant and tourism hotspot will be closed until at least March 31.

"Mall of America brings people together, and it will continue to do so once we are past this current situation," read Tuesday's release. "But that ability to attract people is why we made the decision to temporarily close our doors."

The mall's closing comes one day after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz ordered Minnesota bars, restaurants, theaters, museums, gyms, community clubs and other areas where community transmission could occur to shutter from Tuesday through March 27. Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are to remain open.

The mall had already announced on Monday that its Nickelodeon Universe amusement park would close through the end of the month.

As of Tuesday, 60 Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

"These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented actions," the release said. "We are confident we will get through these challenging times and look forward to reopening our doors to the Minnesota community and the world."

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