Arlington Heights, IL– J.R. Carlson Laboratories, Inc.announcedon March 23, 2020, that the Carlson home office in Arlington Heights will be closed March 23 through April 7, 2020, and all production and distribution operations will be suspended.

The decision follows the “stay-at-home”  order issued by Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker on March 20. The order took effect at 5 pm on Saturday, March 21, 2020 and continues through Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in an effort to maximize COVID-19 containment and ensure that the state’s healthcare system remains fully operational.

"As a producer and distributor of nutritional supplements, considered to be essential services by both the state of Illinois and the federal Department of Homeland Security, Carlson and its employees are exempt from this order," the company said in a press release. "However, at this moment, Carlson believes it is best to support Carlson employees and the community in helping to 'flatten the curve' and slow the spread of COVID-19 by heeding the governor’s call to stay at home."

Carlson shared that the company will resume production and distribution operations on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and will have additional measures in place to protect the health and safety of employees and customers. This will include measures to increase social distancing and enhancement to the company's "already rigorous and extensive" cleaning protocols.

Carlson also shared this message for natural products retailers: "Carlson knows you and your customers depend on Carlson products to support health and wellness, especially in times like these. News of the temporary shutdown of Carlson may be disappointing. But in anticipation of this eventuality, Carlson has been working overtime to help retailers fill their shelves and ensure a steady supply of Carlson products."

In a message to the community, Carlson said, "There is no question that these are challenging times. Carlson grieves with the community of people around the world who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. Our hearts are with our employees, their families, and our community as we band together and do our part to flatten the curve. And we are so grateful to the many bright lights, including first responders, nurses, doctors, researchers, public health officials, and public servants who are working tirelessly to save lives and put an end to this pandemic."  
Related: AHPA: Supplement, Herbal, Cannabis Operations as Essential Businesses Trade Associations to Governors: Supplements Qualify as Essential CRN Answers FAQs on COVID-19 Resource Page
Industry trade groups have offered guidance and addititional resources for companies during the COVID-19 crisis. For companies remaining open, AHPA shared the following on March 23, 2020 “AHPA strongly recommends that companies that determine their status as an essential business and so maintain operations take appropriate measures to protect employees. Relevant guidance is available at the websites of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”