Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, in defiance of guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ordered the closure of health food stores during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Sisolak’s order will restrict access to a wide range of essential products sold by health food stores, including water, electrolytes, nutritional supplements, healthy food options and other health-related products such as hand sanitizer.
“Gov. Sisolak’s decision is shortsighted and inconsistent with the federal government and other states and amounts to an assault on small businesses. We hope that is not the governor’s intention,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of NPA.
In recent days, states and territories have begun to order the closure of most businesses for an indefinite period except for supermarkets, pharmacies, restaurants offering carryout or delivery, medical equipment stores, gas stations, banks and liquor stores. DHS guidance relevant to health food stores and the nutritional supplement supply chain includes:
- Manufacturer workers for health manufacturing (including biotechnology companies), materials and parts suppliers, logistics and warehouse operators, distributors of medical equipment (including those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.
- Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail (including unattended and vending) that sells human food, animal/pet food and pet supply, and beverage products, including retail customer support service and information technology support staff necessary for online orders, pickup and delivery.
In response to Sisolak’s order, NPA launched a grassroots messaging campaign which can be viewed here.
Source: Natural Products Association