On Thursday, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced he will soon issue a Cease & Desist order to the Hobby Lobby Corporation.
“Someone who is not a hero and who I want to call out specifically, and I’ll be calling out others like this… is the corporation Hobby Lobby,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins told reporters he was recently informed that many of the Hobby Lobby stores in Dallas County remain open, despite not being an essential business.
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He says enforcing what qualifies as an essential business is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly.
“The way we determine what is an essential business is not me and a couple of guys who stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins says the store is simply not essential to the public during a global pandemic. In fact, he called the decision to remain open “foolish.”
“If you work at Hobby Lobby and you work in management, go ahead and lock up and leave as soon as possible,” said Jenkins.
Judge Jenkins says the decision not to close places profit over public health.
“There are plenty of places to buy yarn and art supplies that are fully compliant with our orders and have robust online platforms.”
NBC 5 reached out a Dallas County store over the phone. We were told corporate offices provided a letter telling employees Hobby Lobby is essential. On its website, Hobby Lobby says it is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has "enhanced store cleaning" to "minimize risks" for shopping in its stores.
Jenkins says the move by Hobby Lobby ownership is unfair to those business owners who have followed orders.
“It’s a slap in the face to the businesses that are following this order that a few outliers are putting the community in danger,” he said.
“I just want to make it clear to Hobby Lobby and anyone else who is foolish enough to follow in their footsteps, that in Dallas County the government and 99.9% of the business community puts public health over profits.”
Jenkins mentioned the county website, www.Dallas CountyCovid.org, where you can report any businesses that remain open that you think are not classified as an essential business.