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COVID-19 Guidance for States and Provinces

As the effects of COVID-19 touch every aspect of retail, some U.S. states and Canadian provinces are declaring home improvement stores “essential” and allowing them to remain open to continue serving communities.

On this page, find COVID-19 information for each U.S. state and Canadian province. This page will be updated frequently as more information arrives.

On March 16, the North American Retail Hardware Association and leaders from several home improvement companies urged lawmakers to deem home improvement stores essential to public safety. Read the letter in full and share it with your lawmakers if you have yet to be deemed an essential operation.

Guidance for the U.S.

Alabama

Gov. Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency and later ordered nonessential retail businesses to temporarily close, but hardware stores were not listed among those nonessential businesses.

Update: In an executive order dated April 3, hardware stores were considered essential businesses and allowed to continue operations.

Alabama’s COVID-19 resource center: https://governor.alabama.gov/newsroom/covid-19/

Alaska

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared a state of emergency, but hardware stores are permitted to continue operations.

Alaska’s COVID-19 resource center: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/default.aspx

American Samoa

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has declared a state of emergency, but hardware stores are permitted to continue operations.

American Samoa’s COVID-19 resource center: https://www.americansamoa.gov/covid-19-advisories

Arizona

Gov. Doug Ducey has issued an executive order forbidding the closure of essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has encouraged residents to stay home whenever possible. His office has confirmed hardware stores count as essential businesses and are allowed to continue serving customers.

Arizona’s COVID-19 resource center: https://az.gov/government-0

Arkansas

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has declared a state of emergency, but hardware stores are permitted to continue operations, as reported by Arkansas Business.

Arkansas’ COVID-19 resource center: https://govstatus.egov.com/ar-covid-19

California

On March 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order stating all nonessential workers should stay home to stem the spread of the virus. Hardware stores were exempted from the order and considered part of the state’s “essential infrastructure.”

California’s COVID-19 resource center: https://covid19.ca.gov/

Colorado

Gov. Jared Polis has issued an executive order mandating employers reduce in-person employees by 50 percent. The order exempted certain industries, including “emergency personnel and infrastructure necessary to ensure continuity of critical health care, government functions, public safety, manufacturing and supply chain operations.” Boulder and Denver have expressly permitted hardware stores to continue operations.

Colorado’s COVID-19 resource center: https://covid19.colorado.gov/

Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont has ordered nonessential businesses to cease operations from March 23 to April 22. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses and allowed to continue serving communities.

Connecticut’s COVID-19 resource center: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus

Delaware

Gov. John Carney has issued a shelter-in-place order, but allowed residents to leave their homes to seek “products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.” Many nonessential businesses were forced to close. Hardware stores were permitted to remain open.

Delaware’s COVID-19 resource center: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/

District of Columbia

Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered nonessential businesses to close, but has permitted hardware stores to remain open to serve customers.

District of Columbia’s COVID-19 resource center: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/

Florida

Gov. DeSantis has issued an executive order mandating bars, beaches, restaurants and other nonessential businesses temporarily close. On April 1, DeSantis issued a “safer at home” order that encouraged Floridians to limit movement outside their home. The executive order explains “workers in hardware and building materials stores” are essential.

Florida’s COVID-19 resource center: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/

Georgia

On April 1, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order for residents. According to NBC affiliate WXIA, hardware stores in Fulton County are listed as essential and permitted to continue operations.

Georgia’s COVID-19 resource center: https://georgia.gov/covid-19-state-services-georgia

Guam

Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero has issued an executive order that calls for the closure of some nonessential businesses. Hardware stores have been permitted to continue operations.

Hawaii

Gov. David Ige has issued a stay-at-home order for the state, permitting only workers “necessary to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical-infrastructure sectors” until April 30. In the order, hardware stores were permitted to continue operations.

Hawaii’s COVID-19 resource center: https://hawaiicovid19.com/

Idaho

Gov. Brad Little has issued a stay-at-home order for citizens, but permitted hardware stores to continue serving their customers.

Idaho’s COVID-19 resource center: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered residents to stay at home. His office issued a declaration saying that nonessential businesses must cease operations. Hardware stores were permitted to keep their doors open to ensure customers had access to vital supplies to protect their properties.

Illinois’ COVID-19 resource center: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/Pages/default.aspx

Indiana

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order to Indiana residents, permitting only essential businesses to remain open. Hardware and supply stores will be deemed essential and remain open.

Update: On April 6, Holcomb added new guidance for essential retail operations, mandating they limit the number of customers in a store at one time; adjust hours to accommodate vulnerable citizens; limit store hours in order to restock and clean; and comply with all mitigation measures to protect employees and customers.

Indiana’s COVID-19 resource page: https://coronavirus.in.gov/

Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly has declared a state of emergency. Though some counties have closed nonessential businesses, many have permitted hardware stores to continue operations. Hardware Retailing recommends contacting your county seat for more information.

Kansas’ COVID-19 resource page: https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus

Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear has issued a state of emergency encouraging all residents to stay at home as much as possible. In the executive order, hardware stores were considered essential and permitted to continue operations.

Kentucky’s COVID-19 resources page: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19

Louisiana

Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a stay-at-home order for state residents, but has allowed hardware stores to continue retail operations.

Louisiana’s COVID-19 resource page: http://ldh.la.gov/Coronavirus/

Maine

Gov. Janet Mills has declared a state of emergency, but hardware stores are permitted to continue serving their communities.

Maine’s COVID-19 resources page: https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/covid-19

Maryland

Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency and later issued a stay-at-home order. Hogan has also ordered nonessential retail businesses to temporarily close, but permitted “companies that sell supplies and materials for maintenance of commercial and residential buildings” to remain open. The state’s Office of Legal Counsel later clarified “greenhouses and nurseries” could remain open.

Maryland’s COVID-19 resources page: https://governor.maryland.gov/coronavirus/

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker has declared a state of emergency and encouraged nonessential businesses to temporarily cease operations until April 7. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses and permitted to continue serving customers.

Massachusetts’ COVID-19 resource page: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency and encouraged residents to stay in their homes until April 14. No specific guidance for hardware stores has been found, but Gov. Whitmer has permitted “critical infrastructure workers” to continue operations.

Michigan’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/

Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz has issued a stay-at-home order to stem the spread of COVID-19 but has permitted essential businesses to remain open. According to the Star-Tribune, hardware stores are permitted to continue operations.

Mississippi

Gov. Tate Reeves has issued a state of emergency in Mississippi, but has permitted hardware stores to continue serving customers.

Mississippi’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.coronavirus.ms.gov/

Missouri

Gov. Mike Parson has declared a state of emergency, but has not ordered the temporary closure of retail establishments.

Missouri’s COVID-19 resource page: https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/

Montana

Gov. Steve Bullock has declared a state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home directive lasting until April 10 to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the directive, businesses that sold “products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences” were permitted to continue operations.

Montana’s COVID-19 resource page: https://covid19.mt.gov/

Nebraska

Gov. Pete Ricketts has declared a state of emergency, but has only closed nonessential retail establishments in certain counties.

Nebraska’s COVID-19 resource page: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Nevada

Gov. Steve Sisolak has declared a state of emergency, but listed hardware stores as essential and permitted to continue serving customers.

Nevada’s COVID-19 resource page: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/

New Hampshire

Gov. Chris Sununu has declared a state of emergency, but listed hardware stores as essential retail operations and permitted to continue service.

New Hampshire’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.nh.gov/covid19/

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered residents to stay at home. He has listed hardware stores as essential operations able to continue serving communities.

New Jersey’s COVID-19 resource page: https://covid19.nj.gov/

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued a stay-at-home order for residents until April 10.

Hardware stores, nurseries and “businesses that generate most of their revenue from the sale of home improvement goods” were listed as essential.

New Mexico’s COVID-19 resource page: https://cv.nmhealth.org/

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency and directed nonessential workers to work from home. Hardware and building material stores were listed as essential and permitted to continue serving customers.

On April 15, Gov. Cuomo ordered all New York residents to wear masks when venturing out in public, according to CNN.

New York’s COVID-19 resource page: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency but not declared any stay-at-home orders. In an executive order, Gov. Cooper ordered the temporarily closure of some nonessential businesses, but did not reference hardware or home improvement stores.

North Carolina’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum has declared certain nonessential retail operations cease operations until April 6.

North Dakota’s COVID-19 resource page: https://ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources

Ohio

Gov. Michael DeWine has issued a stay-at-home order and listed hardware stores as essential retail operations.

Ohio’s COVID-19 resource page: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

Oklahoma

Gov. Kevin Stitt has ordered the temporary closure of nonessential businesses. In his order, he defers to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s definitions of critical infrastructure businesses.

Oklahoma’s COVID-19 resource page: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown bans nonessential retail establishments from operating until April 14, 2020. Hardware stores are permitted to remain open.

Oregon’s COVID-19 resource page: https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered residents of several counties to stay at home. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses.

Update: On April 6, Gov. Wolf released safety guidelines for essential businesses.

Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx

Puerto Rico

A list of executive orders in Spanish can be found at: https://www.estado.pr.gov/en/executive-orders/

Puerto Rico’s COVID-19 resource page: https://estadisticas.pr/en/covid-19

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo has closed certain nonessential retail establishments until at least March 30. No specific guidance for hardware stores has been issued.

Rhode Island’s COVID-19 resource page: https://health.ri.gov/covid/

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency but not ordered the closure of any retail businesses.

South Carolina’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.scdhec.gov/infectious-diseases/viruses/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem has declared a state of emergency, but not ordered any retail establishments to close. In an executive order, Gov. Noem encourages South Dakota residents to stay home.

South Dakota’s COVID-19 resource page: https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx

Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee has declared a state of emergency, but has not ordered the temporary closure of any retail establishments.

Tennessee’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19.html

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster and issued an executive order instructing residents to avoid social gatherings and prompting restaurants, bars and other establishments to close dine-in services. Retail has been permitted to continue, but some counties have issued stay-at-home orders.

Texas’ COVID-19 resource page: https://texas.gov/#covid19

Utah

Gov. Gary Herbert has issued a state of emergency but not ordered the closure of any essential retail establishment. One county has issued a stay-at-home order.

Utah’s COVID-19 resource page: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

Vermont

Gov. Phillip Scott has declared a state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order for residents. Gov. Scott has listed hardware stores as essential businesses, but instructed business be conducted “through online and telephone orders for delivery and curbside pickup to the extent possible.” On March 31, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development directed big-box retailers to stop selling nonessential items in order to reduce the number of people visiting stores.

Vermont’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

Virginia

Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency and issued a stay-at-home order. He has has listed hardware stores as essential businesses able to continue serving customers.

Virginia’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus-updates/

Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a stay-at-home order. Hardware stores were listed as essential businesses and permitted to continue serving customers.

Washington’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.coronavirus.wa.gov/

West Virginia

Gov. Jim Justice has issued a stay-at-home order effective March 24. Hardware stores were considered essential retailers and permitted to remain open.

West Virginia’s COVID-19 resource page: https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx

Wisconsin

Gov. Tony Evers has issued a stay-at-home order but has listed hardware stores as essential businesses and allowed to continue serving customers.

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 resource page: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm

Wyoming

Gov. Mark Gordon has closed certain nonessential retail establishments but has made no directives for hardware stores.

Wyoming’s COVID-19 resource page: https://evers.wi.gov/Documents/COVID19/EMO12-SaferAtHome.pdf

Guidance for Canada

Alberta

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has declared a public state of health emergency for the province, closing some nonessential retail establishments. For more information regarding Alberta’s response to COVID-19, visit the province’s official online resource.

British Columbia

Public safety minister Mike Farnworth has announced a provincial state of emergency. For more information on British Columbia’s response to COVID-19, visit the province’s dedicated website.

Manitoba

Premier Brian Pallister has declared a state of emergency in the province, banning gatherings of 50 or more people and closing some nonessential retail establishments. For more news and resources regarding Manitoba’s COVID-19 response, visit the province online.

New Brunswick

Premier Blaine Higgs has declared a state of emergency in the province. Nonessential retail businesses have closed, but hardware stores remain open. For more information, visit New Brunswick’s COVID-19 resource page.

Newfoundland and Labrador

After enacting emergency health measures for the first time, the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador is closing some nonessential retail businesses, but allowing hardware stores to continue operations. For more information, visit the province’s COVID-19 resources page.

Northwest Territories

Minister Diane Thom has declared a public health emergency amid COVID-19. The government has not mandated the closure of retail establishments. For more information, visit the Northwest Territories’ COVID-19 resource page.

Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil has declared a state of emergency. Some nonessential businesses have been forced to temporarily close. For more information, visit the province’s dedicated COVID-19 resource page.

Nunavut

Minister of health George Hickes has declared a state of public health emergency. The province has ordered the temporary closure of some businesses, but allowed “retail business establishments deemed to be providing critical services” to continue operation. For more information, visit Nunavut’s COVID-19 resources page.

Ontario

Premier Doug Ford has declared a state of emergency in the province. The province has ordered the temporary closure of some businesses, but has not included hardware operations among the industries affected. For more information, visit Ontario’s COVID-19 resources page.

Prince Edward Island

Premier Dennis King has declared a public health emergency. Some nonessential businesses have been forced to close, but hardware stores have been deemed essential and can continue serving their communities. For more information, visit the province’s COVID-19 resource page.

Quebec

Premier François Legault has declared a state of emergency. Some nonpriority businesses have been forced to temporarily close, but hardware stores not in malls have been deemed priority and can continue operations. For more information about COVID-19 in Quebec, visit the province’s official resources page.

Update: Legault has included home building and garden centers among essential activities and establishments, reports Hardlines.

Saskatchewan

Premier Scott Moe has declared a state of emergency. Some retail businesses have been ordered to close, but hardware stores have been deemed essential. For more information, visit the province’s COVID-19 resources page.

Yukon

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley has declared a public health emergency. Some businesses like tattoo parlors and barber shops have been ordered to close, but no mandate has been placed on hardware stores. For more information, visit Yukon’s COVID-19 resource page.

NOTE: This article will be updated as more information comes available.

About Todd Taber

Todd Taber
Todd is an assistant editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. He graduated from Indiana University where he majored in journalism and French. Throughout his career, he has aimed to highlight small businesses and their community value. He joined NRHA in 2017 and now serves on the news and marketing teams. In his free time, he likes to run, spend time with family and travel the country.

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