Howard County, Indiana Prohibits the Sale of Nonessential Goods from Stores that are Still Open

Howard County, Indiana commissioners approved a ban on the sale of nonessential goods from stores remaining open on March 27, 2020 because these stores were deemed essential during the Wuhan virus pandemic.

The commissioners’ order says the sale of nonessential goods at essential stores was “not fair” to the businesses selling exclusively nonessential goods that shut their doors in compliance with the county’s public health emergency order.

The ban went into effect at noon of March 28, 2020. Signs in the stores must make shoppers aware of the ban.

Goods such as jewelry, furniture, home and lawn decor, toys/games, carpet/rugs/flooring, nonemergency appliances, music/books/magazines, craft and art supplies, paint, and entertainment electronics are classified as “non-essential.”

The county declared in a Facebook post that the order was “in agreement by the Board Of Health, the Mayor of the City of Kokomo, and supported by the Indiana Retail Council.”

“We sought and received input and support from several of the big box stores in our community along with the Indiana Retail Council. This order is consistent with our Orange Travel Advisory for essential travel only. Please stay home and only travel outside of your home if it is absolutely essential. The Commissioners would like to thank the Indiana Retail Council and our big box retailers for their cooperation in this matter.”

On Friday, March 27, 2020, Howard County reported seven positive tests for the Wuhan virus, and state health officials have recorded one Howard County death.