Vigo County Health Department cracking down on non-essential businesses

The Vigo County Health Department is working with local businesses to determine if they are considered essential.

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 7:08 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- News 10 has received several questions from you at home about which businesses are considered essential and non-essential.

The Vigo County Health Department is cracking down on businesses that are allowed to remain open.

The department tells us Hobby Lobby and JoAnn Fabrics are not considered essential.

The department has given both stores the option of offering curbside service for customers.

Academy Sports Performance and PaceSetter Sports in Terre Haute can remain open.

Academy sells hunting gear and ammo that falls under essential items.

PaceSetter Sports sells medical equipment.

The department is working to inform local businesses on what's considered essential and non-essential.

”It’s our job to get on the same page to let our businesses know what is acceptable,” Roni Elder with the Vigo County Health Department told News 10. “But we do still have to follow those orders, so just kind of navigating what is allowed, and where those gray areas are, and what are decision is made on is the gray areas.”

The health department says the businesses mentioned have all been compliant.

News 10 stopped by PaceSetter Sports around 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

At that time, the store was told by the Vigo County Health Department that they can only remain open to sell orthopedic equipment.

This equipment makes the business essential.

All non-essential items had to be roped off.

But since that time, the Vigo County Health Department has told the business that all items can remain for sale.

The tape has since been taken down.

Brent Compton, owner of PaceSetter Sports, tells News 10 that he doesn't want to instill any additional fear in customers.

“It’s been incredibly slow, but the customers that we have are being driven here from the doctor from the medical community,” Compton said.

The Vigo County Health Department is working with local businesses to determine if they are considered essential.

“That’s what’s hard when they give us these guidelines that are so gray and there’s all these loopholes that then it’s our job as the health department to decide what are we going to do and what is fair,” Elder said. 

The department is advising businesses that remain open to practice social distancing and sanitize often.

Compton says the store wants to serve the community.

“And the sales are very, very minimal, but it’s our very small part that we’re trying to do to be a resource that’s both convenient and accessible, which is hard to find right now.”

The business is offering curbside service and free delivery to bordering counties.

The Vigo County Health Department says they are following Governor Holcomb's orders.

This remains in effect until at least April 6 at midnight.

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