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Michigan AG: JoAnn Fabrics needs to close during stay at home order

JoAnn Fabrics asked the state to be classified as an essential business, but the attorney general denied that request.
Credit: Tegna

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel denied a request from JoAnn Fabrics to stay open during the stay at home order, issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday, March 23. 

Nessel's office sent a letter to the business on Monday, March 30 saying storefront operations need to be suspended while the order is in place. Only essential businesses are allowed to remain open, like grocery stores. 

RELATED: Michigan's stay at home order: What am I allowed to do?

“I can appreciate the desire of businesses that want to remain open and provide their customers with the same products and services they have come to expect from these retailers, but there must be common sense protections in place during this global health emergency,” Nessel said.  

JoAnn Fabrics Chief Customer Officer Chris DiTullio said in his request that the craft store is essential because “hundreds of hospitals and thousands of generous volunteers are turning to JoAnn” for materials to make face masks, face shields and medical gowns. 

RELATED: JOANN fabric stores working with customers to sew masks for health care workers

Nessel's response said they appreciate the contributions that JoAnn Fabrics has made in addressing the crisis, but because the products can be obtained through other ways, like online, it is not necessary to continue on-site operations. 

"The Governor’s Order carefully balances the danger to the public and to workers when on-site operations continue versus the need for those on-site operations to sustain and protect life," Nessel wrote. 

The attorney general's office said after receiving the letter, JoAnn Fabrics stores in Michigan appear to have closed. 

“I’d like to thank JoAnn Fabrics for its quick response to our letter and for putting the health and safety of Michigan’s residents first in making this decision,” said Nessel. 

Michigan's stay at home order goes until April 13 at 11:59 p.m. 


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