RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — As California’s stay-at-home restrictions begin to lift, mall giant Simon Properties reopened its two Inland Empire retail centers, even as Riverside County reported 135 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 11 more deaths attributed to the illness and San Bernardino County reported 202 additional cases.

“The Simon team is meeting these unprecedented challenges with unwavering commitment to the safety of our employees, shoppers, retailers and the communities we serve,” Chairman, CEO and President David Simon said in a quarterly report published May 11. “We have successfully navigated challenging times throughout our company’s history, and we will endure and gain strength as we weather this disruption.”

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Ontario Mills and Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, closed since March, started welcoming shoppers back into stores on Tuesday with an increased emphasis on sanitation and social distancing.

Along with more frequent disinfection of surfaces, Simon’s guidelines for safely reopening include pre-work screenings for employees, re-configuring high-traffic areas to allow for more space, breaks for employees to wash their hands and self-service payment transactions.

“I’m hoping people will kind of like see that it’s getting better,” Dylan, a shopper, said.

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Other Southern California openings include San Diego’s Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Fashion Valley and Los Americas Premium Outlets; Orange County’s Brea Mall, The Outlets at Orange and The Shops at Mission Viejo; and Ventura County’s Camarillo Premium Outlets. The Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.

As of Tuesday, Riverside County reported 7,139 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 303 deaths. Of those diagnosed with the illness, 4,285 have recovered and 193 were hospitalized with 63 in intensive care units.

San Bernardino County reported 4,567 cases and 176 deaths, which has remained unchanged for the past four days.

Riverside County has tested 106,529 people, and San Bernardino County has tested 54,901.

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