Hobby Lobby Ordered to Close Stores in States With Stay-at-Home Orders After Reopening

Hobby Lobby is facing criticism for reopening stores in states where governors have issued stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus.

The arts and crafts retail giant says its business constitutes an essential service since it’s a supplier of education materials.

Business Insider reported that Hobby Lobby resumed business in Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado and North Carolina. The publication obtained a copy of a memo by Hobby Lobby Senior Vice President Randy Betts that instructed store managers on what to say if authorities questioned them about being open.

At a Hobby Lobby location in Garland, Texas, the store reportedly posted mandatory social distancing rules on its doors, stating: “Operating as an essential business Offering PPE Mask supplies, educational supplies, office supplies, and various components for at home small businesses.”

On Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the state was adhering to advice from the Trump administration and the CDC to extend the self-quarantine through April 30 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state and save lives. The order mandates where residents can go and names locations they must avoid, including nursing homes and long term care facilities.

In Wisconsin, Hobby Lobby reopened a store in Kenosha, but authorities shut it down on Tuesday after it was said to have broken the “Safer at Home” mandate, according to news station WTMJ-TV.

“Your business, or identified portion of the business, must cease operation or be in violation of the order,” a letter from the Kenosha police to the store read. “Please comply with this order to avoid legal action.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter