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Crowds of Black Friday shoppers flock to stores despite CDC warning against indoor shopping

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Crowds of shoppers eager to score Black Friday deals were spotted lining up outside central Indiana stores, despite extended online sales and public health warnings against indoor shopping.

Bella McFarland, a Greenwood resident, waited in a line of more than 40 people to enter Best Buy on Fry Road.

The queue snaked around the side of the building for much of Friday afternoon.

“It’s kind of expected because there’s limited capacity,” she said, shrugging.  “We’re not in people’s faces and stuff.”

Shoppers wore masks but did not appear to be standing six feet apart from each other in the outdoor line.

Most shopping malls and retailers require masks, have signage reminding people to maintain social distance and limit the number of people permitted in stores. Some retail workers are protected by clear acrylic barriers.

Tammy Randolph, a Mooresville resident, said she felt safe but was shocked by the number of people in line at Best Buy and inside the store.

“It’s crazy!” she told News 8. “This is my first [stop on Black Friday] and I think it’s going to be my last.”

Randolph said her “legs were too tired” to stand in another line and headed home to browse cyber deals.

Valerie Williams, a Greenwood resident, was also floored by the crowd of shoppers outside Best Buy.

She and her husband had ordered a set of speakers online and requested to pick them up at the Fry Road store.

They stopped by Friday afternoon, expecting to spend several minutes picking up their purchase, but said they couldn’t find a parking spot.

“I wouldn’t go in here,” Williams said. “I mean, this is like Black Friday morning [in previous years].”

Major retailers saw fewer Black Friday shoppers in stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed shopping in crowded stores before, on or after Thanksgiving as a “higher risk activity” to avoid as coronavirus cases surge across the nation.

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