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Officials: Stop crowding big-box stores

Posted at 2:21 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 19:50:19-04

OMAHA, NE — City and county officials strongly admonished area residents and the managers of local "big-box" stores to stop crowding in the stores, saying it is hindering efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

At a Sunday news conference, Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour said area residents need to do more to comply with social distancing directives, and said she was getting complaints about stores such as Menards still being crowded with people.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert was even more direct, calling on the managers of area Menards, Home Depot, Costco, WalMart, and Sam's Club to do more to limit the number of people in their stores.

Pour said she did not want to order these stores to close, because people still needed to buy essential items from them, but said people shouldn't be shopping at them to "do their home decor project."

The admonishment came during a news conference called to discuss more coronavirus cases in the county, including two long-term care patients at the Douglas County Health Center. The center's administrator said it is believed the patients got the virus from an infected employee.

Pour asked that people who work in long-term care facilities stop shopping to lessen the chance of them getting infected and spreading the virus into these facilities filled with high-risk people.