Michigan forcing Walmart and others to shut down parts of their stores selling “nonessential” items

Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has announced some of the strictest coronavirus lockdown measures in the nation.

A new order bans large stores including Walmart, Costco and Target from selling items deemed “nonessential” such as plants, furniture and paint.

You can read the full order here. 

This has already led to backlash and criticism.

Tori Sachs tweeted:

Per order from @GovWhitmer, people in Michigan are now banned from purchasing a new baby car seat in stores.

This is dangerous and this order needs clarification immediately.

Business Insider reports Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a new stay-at-home order on Thursday that bars large stores like Walmart, Costco, and Target from selling “nonessential” items such as plants, furniture, paint, and more.

“If you’re not buying food or medicine or other essential items, you should not be going to the store,” Whitmer said Thursday of the new order.

With the order, Michigan joins Vermont and a number of local governments that have taken similar measures, prompting stores to rope off aisles and bar certain purchases.

The Michigan order, which went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, specifically requires stores larger than 50,000 square feet to close areas dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint.

The order suggests that stores close these sections by “placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves,” or using other means.

These stores must also stop the advertising or promotion of goods by April 13 that are not “groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences,” the order states.

The order additionally limits the number of customers allowed in large stores to four people per 1,000 square feet.

“The amount of customer floor space must be calculated to exclude store areas that are closed,” the order states.

Per TCO, in addition, all travel to other homes, even to friends, relatives and vacation rentals is now prohibited in Michigan.

Fox News reports traveling to another home within Michigan, even to visit friends or relatives, or to go to a vacation home, is now banned under Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, which has been extended until May 1.

“Michigan has the third-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” Whitmer said in a statement, according to Detroit’s WXYZ-TV.

Some exceptions to the order — which takes effect Saturday — are caring for a relative or their pet, a child, an elderly or disabled person, visiting someone in a health care facility, or attending a funeral with fewer than 10 people.

Michigan’s Whitmer says lack of national strategy has created ‘porous situation’ for coronavirus to spread

“All public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited. People can still leave the house for outdoor activities…recreational activities are still permitted as long as they’re taking place outside of six feet from anyone else,” Whitmer said in a news conference, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Residents may visit a home outside of the state or return to Michigan from another state or drive to a Michigan state park, the Free Press reported.

“All other travel is prohibited, including all travel to vacation rentals,” the order says, according to WXYZ.