Citadel Outlets crowded with Christmas shoppers amid COVID-19 surge

While health experts highly recommend everyone stay home as much as possible, people still crowded the Citadel Outlets in Commerce.
COMMERCE, Calif. (KABC) -- Many people were still out Christmas shopping, despite being in the middle of a surging COVID-19 pandemic.

Rushing to find to the perfect present, shoppers filled the stores at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce.

"Last minute shopping, we got busy and we're all thinking we have time, and at the end we don't, so we had to rush in and get a few things for our family," says Jorge Hernandez of South Gate.

With COVID-19 cases reaching record numbers daily, shoppers have been making their way to area malls and stores. Several locations now reporting outbreaks among employees.

"I feel like everybody's been pretty safe, we've seen everyone with masks on. There's not a lot of people here, which is good," says Davar Stephen of Larchmont Village.

Not all popular shopping centers were busy this year. The Americana in Glendale appeared relatively slow, with just a few people seen out and about.

While the Citadel Outlets showed large crowds, it was still a small turnout compared to the insane amount of traffic seen in the previous years.

Stores following safety protocols and limiting capacity meant long lines.

"For us to go to the Disney store, I had to remain in line like an hour-something," says Mayra Martinez of South Gate.

Other shoppers felt differently about the long wait times. Yesenia Hernandez of Anaheim says, "I'd rather it be longer because then I know they're actually doing their job. Makes me feel safer."

Those shopping said they felt safe doing so, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise, health officials fear there will be a second wave after the holidays.
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