After resisting efforts to close doors, Hobby Lobby closed all stores
OKLAHOMA CITY – Hobby Lobby has announced that the current coronavirus crisis is prompting it to close its stores until further notice.
The Oklahoma City chain of craft stores said in a statement that it also made all of its employees in store and many of its corporate and distribution employees available.
Hobby Lobby had resisted efforts to close its stores as a non-essential service, claiming that its sale of fabric was essential. A Denver on-site shelter order fulfillment team had published quotes at Hobby Lobby stores. Dallas, Texas, County Deputies on Thursday ordered the Hobby Lobby to cease and desist from closing it or finding it in violation of the county order to shut down all non-essential businesses to fight the spread of COVID-19.
According to the chain’s website, Hobby Lobby describes itself as the world’s largest private arts and crafts retailer with more than 900 stores in 46 states and more than 43,000 employees.
New York Javits Center Hospital Begins Taking Patients
A 2,500-bed emergency medical center operated by the US military in New York’s Javits Center began taking COVID-19 patients on Friday night, said the governor’s office.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the center, which was originally intended to accommodate non-viral patients, would only take care of those suffering from coronavirus disease.
The New York area has been called the epicenter of the US coronavirus epidemic, and from 5 p.m. On Friday, he had more than 56,000 cases with 1,867 deaths in the city itself, according to the city health service.
Cuomo said in a statement on Thursday that he had asked President Donald Trump to authorize the Javits center to take COVID-19 patients, and the president accepted the request. Cuomo thanked Trump for his prompt action in this matter.
The Defense Department said Friday that in addition to the Javits Center, COVID-19 patients would also be taken to federal medical stations located at convention centers in New Orleans and Dallas.
Americans stranded in Russia after last flight canceled just before takeoff
Hundreds of Americans are stranded in Russia after the last scheduled flight from the country was canceled while sitting on the plane on Friday.
Aeroflot flight 102, scheduled to fly from Moscow to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, was about to take off when the pilot announced that the trip had been canceled.
“A few people have just started yelling,” said Joe Democritos, an English teacher trying to return to New Jersey. “They said,” I refuse to leave the plane. I will not leave the plane, “in Russian, and then they asked the police to escort people.”
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued several alerts this week encouraging citizens to book the Aeroflot flight, noting that it “may be the last flight available this month” due to the Russian government’s strict travel restrictions .
Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross called the cancellation “inexplicable” in a series of tweets. “For those of you who boarded the Aeroflot 102 today only to cancel it a few moments before takeoff, we understand and share your frustration. “
Renowned ballet dancer Julian Mackay was on the plane and went to social media to document the confusion. Videos posted on the native Montana Instagram account show puzzled travelers trying to get information from airport staff.
The State Department is working to organize a charter flight for citizens, but it requires approval from the Russian government, according to an alert on the embassy’s website. Passengers have been encouraged to seek accommodation for the time being.