Colorado AG steps in after Hobby Lobby defies COVID-19 stay-at-home order

"Hobby Lobby is not a 'critical business,'" the state's attorney general wrote.

April 2, 2020, 12:02 PM

The Colorado Attorney General's office sent a letter to Hobby Lobby's CEO, ordering the craft supplies company to shutter stores immediately after it continued operating despite being named a nonessential business during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"For the avoidance of doubt, and as you have been previously notified, Hobby Lobby is not a 'critical business,'" the letter from attorney general Phil Weiser's office, obtained by ABC News, stated. "You are directed to immediately close all Hobby Lobby locations within the State of Colorado."

The letter added that the state's executive order mandating nonessential businesses shutter amid the COVID-19 outbreak will be enforced.

People enter a Hobby Lobby store in Woodbridge, Va., April 1, 2020.
mpi34/MediaPunch/IPx via AP

On Wednesday, several Hobby Lobby locations in Colorado remained opened. ABC News visited two locations outside Denver, where store managers said they had "no comment" when asked why they continued to operate despite being required to close.

"Craft stores including Hobby Lobby are not considered essential businesses under the order," a spokesperson for the Colorado Department of Public Health told ABC Wednesday. "Breaking the order is breaking the law."

Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.  

As of Wednesday, 45 states have issued or announced statewide closures of all nonessential businesses to help stop the spread of coronavirus in the U.S.

The U.S. has become the new epicenter of the outbreak, with over 216,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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