Coronavirus-worried shoppers empty California, Oregon grocery shelves
California coronavirus hotspots saw worried shoppers thronging stores
Virus-worried shoppers emptied grocery store shelves of goods like water and disinfectant wipes in California and Oregon this weekend after the first U.S. coronavirus death.
Italy, Hong Kong and other places harder hit by the virus have seen depleted supplies, too.
After a fourth case of the virus was announced in Santa Clara County on Saturday, residents bought up all the water and Clorox wipes at a Costco in Mountain View, California, ABC7 reported. An employee who answered the phone at the Mountain View Costco told FOX Business that water and wipes were back in stock as of Sunday.
An employee at a nearby Safeway in Mountain View told FOX Business Saturday was "crazy busy" as shoppers stocked up on toilet paper and pasta. Shoppers weren't behaving unusually on Sunday, though, he said.
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South of Mountain View in the Los Angeles area, the Costco in Glendale, California, has seen an uptick in customers. General manager Thad Kleszcz told the Los Angeles Times that antiseptic wipes are "flying" off the shelves.
The California Department of Public Health said Friday that the state will receive enough kits from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test up to 1,200 people a day for the COVID-19 virus — a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom complained to federal health officials that the state had already exhausted its initial 200 test kits.
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Oregon was able to more quickly identify a case — an employee of an elementary school in Lake Oswego near Portland because it was able to test a sample locally. School district officials said Saturday the employee had been visited in the hospital by several people before he was diagnosed. Those individuals have been asked to observe a two-week quarantine and are being closely monitored.
Worried shoppers thronged a Costco box store near Lake Oswego, emptying shelves of items including toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, frozen berries and black beans.
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"Toilet paper is golden in an apocalypse," one Costco employee said.
Employees said the store ran out of toilet paper for the first time in its history and that it was the busiest they had ever seen, including during Christmas Eve.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.