DALLAS - Even though there are no confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in North Texas, concerns of the virus is driving shoppers to empty store shelves.
First it was face masks, and now it’s cleaning products and hand sanitizer.
Even though the message is don’t panic, some people are still panic shopping, and that has stores and their suppliers struggling to keep up.
“We’ve been looking for what I call the little survival pack,” shopper David McDavid said.
McDavid, like many people, was out of luck Thursday looking for some of the coronavirus essentials — hand sanitizer, soap, and cleaning products.
He said he’s not panicked, but does help provide medical care for someone at home.
“I can’t wait until then and be running around trying to find what I need,” he added.
Across the Metroplex, some store shelves have been emptied.
Kroger posted signs telling customers they’re limiting the number of sanitizer and cold and flu-related items to five per customer.
In a statement, Walmart said in part, they’re “...working with our suppliers to understand and mitigate any supply chain disruptions."
Walgreens said its supply situation remains very fluid, and it’s “seeing some temporary shortages of select products in certain stores,” while working diligently with its supply partners.
“Daily, people come in asking advice. ‘What do I do? How bad is this? Is it serious?’ And the biggest thing is don’t panic,” pharmacist Kevin Carson said.
Carson, who’s a pharmacist at locally-owned Dougherty’s, said his store, too, is experiencing the same run on certain products.
Like other stores, they’re out of N95 masks for sale — the ones recommended to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
But he said they’re also the same masks needed by pharmacists to mix certain specialty prescriptions.
Fortunately, they have enough supply so pharmacists can keep serving customers.
“We are stocked ourselves, so there’s no cause for concern there,” Carson said.
And until more supplies hit shelves, McDavid said it’s even bleaker online.
“I happen to look online last night on one of the major online retailers and two bottles of 8oz sanitizer was going for $90,” he said. “And I’m going, ‘Nah, I’ll just use extra soap and sing my happy birthday song twice while I wash my hands.’”