Hobby Lobby Locations Still Open in Defiance of Stay-at-Home Orders Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Despite states across the country ordering the closure of all non-essential business and stay-at-home orders to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of Hobby Lobby locations have remained open. Although it is unclear just how many stores remain open at the time, the craft business having shuttered several others, reports suggest that locations in both Colorado and Florida are keeping business open to customers, despite not being considered essential.

On Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced a stay-at-home order, stating that "all businesses required to close down their in-person work under this Order may continue to carry out Minimum Basic Operations as defined below. Businesses that can continue to operate through work at home arrangements with their employees are encouraged to do so."

In the days that have followed that order, however, Hobby Lobby locations in the state have remained open, with The Denver Post reporting that some employees are speaking on social media, claiming that the company has found loopholes to justify remaining open. At several locations, signs on the doors inform customers that Hobby Lobby stores are essential as they sell materials for making personal protective equipment, which is in short supply.

Speaking to KRDO, whose viewers reported seeing dozens of people walking in and out of Hobby Lobby stores in Colorado Springs, the family member of one employee expressed their concern over the business refusing to follow state orders.

"I'm angry. I'm terrified," the viewer, who asked not to be named, told the outlet. "He could bring it home."

Colorado is far from the only state facing these issues. WCTV Eyewtiness News reported that the Hobby Lobby location in Tallahassee, Florida also remained open, with one employee calling it "ridiculous."

"All we're doing right now is contributing [to the pandemic]," the employee said, adding that "we've never been an essential store. We've never sold anything that is essential."

Although Hobby Lobby hasn't responded to requests for comment, and calls to Hobby Lobby's customer service line was met with the message that they are "not accepting phone calls at this time," Hobby Lobby owner David Green, in a letter to employees on March 21, explained that his wife had a "vision from God" telling the chain to stay open.

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Despite that "vision," a subsequent letter sent to the company's art and creative department in Oklahoma announced that stores in the state would be temporarily closing and that those employees who received the letter were being terminated.

Meanwhile, police and health department officials in Wisconsin and Indiana have forced locations in those states to close after they continued to remain open.