Michigan cracking down on non-essential business

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Published: Apr. 3, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT
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Michigan is cracking down on companies violating the Stay Home Stay Safe executive order for essential businesses.

Monday, News 10 told you the state would start issuing a $1,000 civil fine for those who violate the order.

That could be on top of a $500 criminal fine.

Home improvement stores are considered essential and are allowed to stay open because they sell products that promote the health, safety and sanitation of society. But that doesn't mean they're allowed to sell everything on their shelves.

"Following these orders to protect the safety of customers and employees there," said Ryan Jarvi, spokesman for the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

The Michigan Attorney General's Office is warning Menards for potentially endangering customers and employees during the coronavirus crisis.

"They shouldn't be providing a bunch of unnecessary or non-essential goods," said Jarvi.

Jarvi said that includes things for your home improvement projects.

"You don't need to go out and buy paint to paint your rooms or mulch for your garden. These aren't things shoppers and consumers should be going to pick up," he said.

Stores are making adjustments to help keep people safe.

A spokesman from Menards told News 10 children younger than 16 are no longer allowed in the stores.

Jarvi said Lowes was sent a similar letter about potential stay home order violations, but the company is working with the state so no other action is being taken right now. Friday, workers at the south Lansing store were adding more social distancing signs.

However, some companies are taking it a step further.

The south Lansing Target stopped selling some items, such as clothes.

Jarvi said moves like that are what stores should really be doing.

"They are only supposed to have a limited number of staff members on hand, so really trying to reduce the number of the people working in the store, and the number of people actually coming to the store shopping," said Jarvi.

Home Depot is also making changes. It set a limit of 100 customers in a store at a time and it's screening employees for coronavirus symptoms.

Walmart announced Friday it is also limiting the number of customers in the store starting Saturday.

If you believe a store is violating the stay home stay safe order, you're asked to report it to your local police department.

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