Michigan AG praises Home Depot’s efforts to slow spread of COVID-19

Stores implement numerous changes

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel praised Home Deport for efforts the retailer has made to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to Nessel, the big box hardware retailer has implemented multiple changes to help slow the virus while remaining open during the pandemic.

RELATED: Why can big box stores stay open?

"My office has found Home Depot to be one of the large retailers taking important steps to ensure social distancing measures are in place at its stores and attempts are being made to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of customers allowed inside at any given time,” Nessel said.

Home Depot has gotten rid of promotions that could have led to more customers visiting its stores and has segregated products so customers are less likely to attempt to purchase nonessential items.

When Nessel’s office contacted Home Depot, the retailer said employees are at door to limit the number of people inside at a given time, and customers must wait 6 feet apart to enter the business.

Nessel urged other stores that are still open to follow Home Depot’s lead and enact similar measures.

Other changes Home Depot has taken include:

Closing stores early at 6 p.m. to allow more time for sanitization and restocking.

  • Limiting services and installations to those essential for maintenance and repair needs in impacted markets.
  • Asked associates to work from home where appropriate, and distributing thermometers to associates in stores and distribution centers and asking them to perform health checks before reporting to work.
  • Added employee bonuses, double pay for those working overtime, as well as paid time off for full-time and part-time hourly associates, and providing additional time off for associates who are 65 years of age or older, or determined to be at higher risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Providing paid time off for any associate who has contracted COVID-19 or those who are required to be quarantined, while also extending dependent care benefits.
  • Froze pricing on product categories in high demand due to COVID-19, while redirecting product shipments like N95 masks to be donated to hospitals, health care providers and first responders.

While Nessel recognized Home Depot, she has also cracked down on another big box home improvement store -- Menards.

According to Nessel, the retailer has been putting the safety of customers and employees at risk.

READ MORE: AG to Menards: Stop engaging in practices that may endanger public, workers during COVID-19 pandemic

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.