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Hand sanitizer, soap, wipes hard to find in South Fla. stores after shoppers panic over coronavirus

Stores set limits on select items
Posted at 7:04 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-09 23:45:12-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Fears over the coronavirus have left some supermarket shelves empty, which has led some stores to set a limit on the number of items you can buy as shoppers are panic buying.

The Department of Health in Palm Beach County says it saw shoppers building their own pandemic pantry back in 2009 with H1N1. Now, we are seeing it again with coronavirus and the increased demand for soap, hand sanitizer and even toilet paper.

MORE: Latest news on coronavirus

“I think they’re overreacting. They’re exaggerating and they’re getting nervous for no reason,” said shopper Bill Hagler.

Due to demand, Publix posted signs saying customers are limited to only two items when it comes to soaps and sanitizers. At Target, Walmart and Costco, many shoppers also spent the weekend stockpiling supplies.

“It’s just a natural occurrence when being told to prepare. People went out and bought everything they could,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director of the the Heath Department in Palm Beach County.

Alonso said she has seen panic buying in the past, but currently there are no confirmed cases in Palm Beach County or on the Treasure Coast, and there is no need to panic.

“I would recommend never to panic. Because when you panic, you make bad decisions, so you need to stay calm so you can protect your family your businesses and everything else,” Alonso said.