FARGO - The West Acres shopping mall has announced that it has extended its temporary closure through April 30 to help stem the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Mall officials made the announcement in a weekly update post on Facebook on Wednesday, April 1.

“With the continued progression of COVID-19, and in keeping the health and safety of our community as our highest priority, we will be extending the temporary closure of West Acres through at least April 30th,” the post reads.

“These times are unprecedented, and it is more important than ever for us all to come together to support one another and do the right thing - for the well-being of our community, and beyond.

We are so grateful for the people that make up West Acres - our team members, partners, store employees, visitors, business partners, vendors, and more. Without all of you, there would be no us,” the post reads. “We want you to know we’re here for you, and it is our job to ensure a vibrant shopping center can welcome you back when this is over. As we’ve said, there is no greater joy for us than to create a space for our community and region to gather. We will get through this together. Until then, stay healthy & stay safe.”

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The mall first closed its doors at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and the length of the closure was extended a couple times as the spread of the disease has continued.

The mall closure was made in response to North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum’s recommendation to close community gathering spaces to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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The mall had initially closed food court seating and changed its hours in response to the pandemic.

Gov. Burgum also had ordered the mandatory closure of restaurants and bars to dine-in business, gyms, movie theaters and personal care businesses. That order has been extended through at least April 20. He said the state would give another update on whether the businesses can reopen by April 15.

"We want to be closed as long as we have to be to save lives and not a day longer," Burgum said Wednesday, April 1.

Burgum said he's not aware of any violations of the mandatory closures by businesses, but he said residents need to do a better job of avoiding gatherings of 10 people or more.