Target, Walmart, Costco ordered to stop sales of nonessential items in Vermont

(Meredith) - State officials in Vermont have ordered big-box retailers, such as Walmart, Target and Costco, to stop the in-person sale of nonessential products.

Instead, these stores must stick to selling critical items like food and prescription drugs amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

Items that cannot be sold in person include clothing, consumer electronics, books, furniture and sporting equipment. The stores can still sell nonessential items online, via telephone, delivery and curbside pick-up.

“Large ‘big box’ retailers generate significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location,” Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle said on Tuesday. “This volume of shopping traffic significantly increases the risk of further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont’s health care system."

As of Tuesday, Vermont had reported nearly 300 positive cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths.

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