The Santa Maria Town Center reopened to shoppers on Thursday morning, with safety precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, after being restricted to mostly curbside service and outdoor operations since June. 

Shopping malls, along with libraries, hair salons and barbershops, were permitted to resume indoor operations this week under a county health order published Monday reflecting the state's new COVID-19 reopening system.

Malls must limit their capacity to 25% along with enforcing mask-wearing, social distancing and cleaning, according to state guidelines. At the Town Center, each business is responsible for ensuring these restrictions are followed.

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Irma Valdez sanitizes a work station at LV Hair Salon, located on the second floor of the Town Center, on Thursday. The salon was able to open up with limited capacity, and by appointment only, after an extended closure because of coronavirus restrictions.

As of Thursday, 34 of the mall's 65 businesses including hair salons, retail stores and eateries were open for either indoor, curbside or outdoor service, according to the Town Center directory.

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The movie theater and food court seating area, along with general seating throughout the mall, remain closed at this time. 

Town Center spokeswoman Kristen LaGrange said not all businesses were ready to reopen by the first day, and that shoppers will likely see more opening as time goes on.

Customers can track which businesses are open by consulting the mall's directory page at www.santamariatowncenter.com/directory

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Santa Maria City Reporter

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Laura Place covers city government, policy and elections in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County. Follow her on Twitter @itslaurasplace

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