AGs Are Enforcing COVID-19-Related Social Distancing Orders

  • AGs are taking action against businesses that flout executive orders designed to enforce social distancing as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19, including the following actions.
  • Colorado AG Phil Weiser sent a letter to arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby ordering it to close its Colorado locations in compliance with Governor Jared Polis’s mandate that all non-critical businesses shut down. Ohio AG Dave Yost also ordered Hobby Lobby to close its stores in the state to comply with Governor Mike DeWine’s shelter-in-place order. Hobby Lobby has temporarily closed all its stores, nationwide.
  • Michigan AG Dana Nessel sent a letter to the hardware retailer Menards ordering it to stop all activities that run contrary to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order. Even though the Menards hardware stores are allowed to remain open, they are only allowed to supply goods necessary for improvement or maintenance of safety, sanitation, or essential operations of a residence.
  • Michigan AG Nessel also denied craft and hobby retailer JoAnn Fabrics’s request to allow its stores to remain open because it is supplying materials that customers use to craft face masks and other personal protective equipment. In her letter, AG Nessel noted that the same supplies are available from JoAnn Fabrics’s online store and, therefore, keeping the physical storefronts open is unnecessary. JoAnn Fabrics is complying and has closed its physical stores in Michigan.
  • New York AG Letitia James ordered 78 companies that provide medical transportation services to Medicaid recipients to immediately stop group rides, which are explicitly prohibited under New York State Department of Health guidance that was issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.