Grocery store shelves empty out ahead of Washington lockdown


25% capacity rule goes into effect at midnight

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With a statewide lockdown set to go into effect at midnight Monday, people in Southwest Washington have been scrambling to get supplies from retail stores and grocery outlets.

Stores will be limited to a 25% capacity under the four-week set of restrictions announced by Governor Jay Inslee Sunday. The new rules led to the Vancouver Costco and regional QFC stores to completely sell out of toilet paper by noon.

Unlike the previous spurt of “panic buying” that took place during lockdowns in March, stores and retailers we spoke with said the supply chain is much stronger this time around. Officials from Kroger–which owns QFC–said most store shelves will be restocked every night.

To prevent hoarding many stores are limiting how much you can buy of in-demand items.

Charlie Soderberg made what she said might be the single-biggest grocery store purchase of her life — complete with several turkeys. She said she was going to “put it in storage containers, send it to my kids.”

Despite the readiness, Adam Fritz, manager of the QFC on SE 192nd Avenue in Vancouver, told us he is counting on the public to be responsible during the holiday season.

“To maintain one person from a family coming in to shop…that would help a lot,” said Fritz. “And to try to limit their shopping to one shop each week […] would be great.”

South of Clark County in Oregon, a statewide freeze begins Wednesday but capacity limits have been set at 75%.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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