Listen Live

KOKOMO, Ind.–Howard County had one of the most restrictive policies during the coronavirus, limiting what types of items people could buy, even at businesses that are considered essential. That policy has been adjusted, but people must now limit the number of people shopping for their families to one.

“We are going to be adopting and recommending with our retailers, the concept of one adult, one cart, one shopper, one cart,” said County Commissioner Paul Wyman. “This will enable individuals and families in our community to purchase the non-essential items that your family needs.”

LISTEN: Commissioner Paul Wyman

The previous policy, issued last week, required businesses, including stores like Walmart and Target, to put up signs telling people they could not buy jewelry, furniture, lawn and home decor, toys, music or books and other items the commissioners believed were non-essential.

The news was not well-received.

Thursday the county extended its stay at home ordinance through April 19, along with a travel advisory, meant to keep people at home.

“As we looked and were reviewing the policy we realized going out another three weeks that not purchasing those items would be unsustainable for families,” said Wyman. “Let me say this, the communication of the policy last week regarding non-essential items was horribly handled.”

Wyamn said he would own that, but he did not apologize for the policy, which would have prevented people from purchasing items that would have allowed them to continue projects or entertain themselves and their children while stuck at home.

“The policy of asking people to stay at home and getting less people in our stores was spot on. We could have communicated that better in our community,” he said.

Wyamn said the commissioners worked with retailers, doctors and government to “find a solution”.