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Devout Christian-run retail chain Hobby Lobby is gradually closing some stores nationwide just days after its founder sent a company-wide letter saying his wife had received a message from God, according to a report.
The Daily Mail Online reported late Monday a spattering of stores across the county have closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has infected at least 46,548 confirmed cases nationwide as of noon Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine.
A sign posted at one store in Queensbury, New York, read: "Based on guidance from public health officials, we are closed effective 3/22/2020 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus," according to the report. A similar sign was shown at a Springfield Township, New Jersey, store.
A spokesperson for Hobby Lobby did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
On March 19, founder David Green sent employees a letter explaining that his wife, Barbara, whom he described as “the prayer warrior,” was praying, as “we are at war with this latest virus,” according to the Mail, which featured a photograph of the memo.
“In her quiet prayer time this past week, the Lord put on Barbara’s heart three profound words to remind us that He’s in control,” Green wrote. “Guide, Guard and Groom. We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before and, who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before.”
Green further discussed how Hobby Lobby’s leaders are working to “balance the needs to keep the Company strong and the needs of employees,” the outlet reported.
While the exec did not outright say the company would remain open, many reportedly interpreted the letter to have that meaning, according to the Mail.
But social media users nationwide posted their own experiences with Hobby Lobby – with many saying on Twitter their local stores were actually closed.
“I work at Hobby Lobby here in Bakersfield and my store closed due to the coronavirus,” said user @thrash_shelby. “Not sure if it's only certain locations or not.”
Another California resident said she was under the impression all California Hobby Lobby stores were closed.