MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Mall of America has announced it will be closing Tuesday afternoon as concern widens over the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement, the Bloomington mall said it’s closing at 5 p.m. Tuesday through at least March 31 as a precaution to protect its guests and workers.

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“Mall of America brings people together, and it will continue to do so once we are past this current situation,” MOA said in a statement. “But that ability to attract people is why we made the decision to temporarily close our doors.”

On Monday, operators of the Nickelodeon Universe theme park said the amusement park will close for the rest of the month, starting on Wednesday. That date will now be pushed back to Tuesday at 5 p.m.

So far, 60 people in Minnesota have tested positive for the virus, according to state health officials.

In most cases, symptoms of COVID-19 are mild, such as a sore throat and cough. The threat is greater for elderly people or those with sensitive lungs. Still, the vast majority of those infected recover.

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