Nevada Gov Orders Closures of Health Food Stores; NPA Responds

NPA launched a grassroots campaign to helps ensure consumers in Nevada have access to nutritional supplements, healthy foods, and other health-related products.

UPDATE April 8, 2020: As of 7:45 AM EST, the order to close health food stores has not been lifted for the state of Nevada, according to the NPA. The association told WholeFoods Magazine in an email that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford have not changed their stances. NPA added that its grassroots effort “has gotten a tremendous amount of support” with more than 1,300 letters sent in Nevada so far. Residents who wish to participate in NPA’s grassroots campaign can get details here.

Stay Healthy! of Las Vegas took to social media to let customers know that they have been deemed essential in Las Vegas, and that the store will reopen today. A message on the Stay Healthy! website says, “Thank You to Mayor Goodman, Senator Chris Brooks and everyone who reached out to Governor Sisolak. Your voice has been heard! Stay Healthy & Strong Las Vegas!”

WholeFoods Magazine is continuing to cover the latest from Nevada and will share updates about the status of other health food stores throughout the state as that information becomes available.

Washington, D.C.—Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered health food stores to close during the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Natural Products Association (NPA). NPA said in a press release that this order will restrict consumer access to a range of essential products available at health food stores, including water, electrolytes, nutritional supplements, healthy foods, and other health-related products such as hand sanitizer. NPA added that the order does not follow guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

NPA outlined aspects of the DHS guidance that are relevant to health food stores and the nutritional supplement supply chain:

  • 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.
Related: DHS Updates Advisory Memo: Supplements Now Essential Businesses

“Governor Sisolak’s decision is shortsighted and inconsistent with the federal government and other states and amounts to an assault on small businesses,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA, in the release. “We hope that is not the Governor’s intention.”

In response to the Nevada governor’s order, NPA launched a grassroots campaign, which stresses, “Amidst the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve seen firsthand the importance of supporting a healthy immune system. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of a ‘health-first’ strategy and essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin C, are highly efficient ways to support your daily health and wellness…Don’t let Governor Sisolak and his accomplices take away health choices away from your family.”

To participate in NPA’s grassroots campaign, go here.

UPDATE April 7, 2020: Stay Healthy! of Las Vegas shared on its website that the store was forced to close, telling customers: Due to a Mandate issued by Governor Sisolak we are considered NON-Essential, contrary to Federal Guidelines, and had to temporarily CLOSE our doors. We need your help! Please call Governor Sisolak at (775) 684-5670 or to State of Nevada Homepage to at least allow Curbside Pick Up for us.


Related: NPA: How the $2T Economic Stimulus Package Helps Natural Products Industry
NPA: Natural Products Industry Can Assist with Production, Distribution of Medical Supplies
NPA: Our Members Will Stay Open to Provide Essential Services