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More Retail Restrictions Arise Amid COVID-19 Surge

Several states have imposed new rules.

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Several states across the U.S. are imposing new restrictions on retailers and other businesses amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

For example, in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan this week announced “immediate actions to prevent overburdening the state’s healthcare system and to keep more Marylanders from dying.”

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Among the restrictions taking effect at 5 p.m Nov. 20: “Capacity at retail establishments and religious facilities will be reduced to 50%, bringing them into line with indoor dining and personal services businesses, as well as bingo halls, bowling alleys, pool halls, roller and ice skating rinks, fitness centers, and social and fraternal clubs.”

“We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning,” Hogan said. “Now more than ever, I am pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus.”

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker also announced restrictions that take effect Nov. 20.

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WBEZ reports: “Retail stores can remain open but with only 25% capacity, while grocery stores and pharmacies can operate at 50% capacity.”

“To stop this spread and preserve some semblance of the holidays, all of us need to do more than just wear our masks now – though masks are mandatory throughout the state,” Pritzker said. “The simple fact is that COVID-19 is spreading so quickly and so widely, and our hospitals are beginning to experience real strain and at the current infection rate they will be overwhelmed. So whenever possible, we need you to stay home.

“I’m hopeful that by limiting our in-person interactions, we will succeed at avoiding a stay at home order like what we had in the spring – when the choice between saving lives and saving livelihoods was even more stark. Tier 3 may allow us to do both. Like in other states like Michigan and California and Washington, it’s our best effort to avoid a stay-at-home order and save lives.”

In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the state “will temporarily re-enact a statewide order closing in-person services for all non-essential activities in order to blunt the unprecedented spike of COVID-19 illnesses and to attempt to relieve dramatically escalating strain on hospitals and health care providers across the state.” The restrictions are effective Nov. 16 through Nov. 30.

Notably, the New Mexico governor’s office “announced some big-box retailers such as Hobby Lobby and Ross Dress for Less will not be allowed to conduct sales in person” amid the new restrictions, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The governor’s office explains that “essential businesses – such as grocery stores, pharmacies, shelters, child care facilities, gas stations, infrastructure operations and others – must minimize operations and in-person staffing to the greatest extent possible but may remain open for limited essential in-person activities.”

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Washington state’s new rules include one stating that “in-store retail is limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food-related seating areas,” King 5 News reports.

 

 

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