Virus Outbreak Nevada

A line of people waiting to buy supplies amid coronavirus fears snakes through a parking lot at a Costco, Saturday, in Las Vegas. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.

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The state Department of Health is requesting that people not overstock on emergency supplies due to concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the department.

DOH official said that before you sweep the store aisles clean of these items, you might want to remind yourself of the harm you’re causing to yourself and your community by overstocking. The more you overstock those supplies, the less is available for your sick neighbors, and for doctors, dentists, and emergency response personnel. Part of keeping vulnerable people healthy includes making sure they have access to necessary supplies.

Grocers say consumer overstocking – not a disrupted supply chain — is the main reason their store shelves are empty of many supplies and food items, especially hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, toilet paper and plastic gloves.

“We want the public to be assured that if they will return to their normal pace of grocery shopping that there will be an adequate supply of products for their consumption,” said Jan Gee, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association and its educational foundation. “We also want the public to be assured of the fact that the grocery stores are taking extensive measures to reduce any opportunity for contamination in our stores, and with the public’s cooperation, we will continue to provide a clean, virus-free environment stocked with healthy and fresh foods for everyone.”

Some consumers also seem to perceive a need to stock up on certain items such as bottled water. Health officials say water supplies are fine. Health experts emphasize the best way to protect yourself from infection is through good hygiene and limiting contact with others, not by overstocking certain supplies.

DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

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