Virginians stocking up on household supplies amid coronavirus fears

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, Virginians are following the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation to prepare. Nearby, North Carolina confirmed its first case of the virus Tuesday.

The U.S. death toll continues to rise and Central Virginians are stocking up on household supplies to prevent the spread of the virus.

The shelves at Westwood Pharmacy in Richmond were cleared out of hand sanitizer Tuesday. The manager tells 8News at least one of the products is on backorder.

Lloyd Brackston was at the pharmacy Tuesday morning.

“I was here earlier today and I heard someone say that, that they were looking for it,” Brackston said.

Not too far away, Lafayette Pharmacy experienced the same issues with hand sanitizer. Disinfectant wipes are running low as well.

“It’s just an extreme case with this virus and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one this bad,” said Patricia Emory, a clerk at Lafayette Pharmacy.

Emory restocks the inventory at the store and said she has never seen such high demand in her nearly 30 years of working at the pharmacy.

“It generally happens, but not this bad. When the flu season hits, they’ll start asking for the Lysol spray and the cleansers but we don’t have the constant calls for the masks and all,” Emory told 8News.

Face masks are hard for stores like Lafayette Pharmacy to keep in stock as well.

“Every day we get calls for masks, but we’re unable to get them right now because they’re on backorder from the manufacturers,” Emory said.

Just last week, Pleasants Hardware in Midlothian sold out of face masks. They tell 8News that location was able to get a few more in stock Tuesday but do not know how long they will last. A local infectious disease expert suggests the general public should live a healthy lifestyle rather than using face masks.

According to their website, Kroger will be limiting the number of sanitization and cold and flu-related products to five per order as a result of high demand.

According to ABC News, online retailer Amazon has removed one million products off its website for misleading claims and price gouging amid the coronavirus outbreak.

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