Tissues, cereal, sanitizer: Coronavirus spurs shoppers

Coronavirus

Shoppers flocking to stores throughout the area

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s true: People are buying paper products. And soap. And milk.

As the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to ripple through everyday life, people are flocking to the grocery stores to stock up on all variety of paper products, hand soap, hand sanitizers, vitamins and flu medicine, cereals and milk.

At a Fred Meyer location in Portland, signs on the shelves indicate customers are limited in the quantities they can buy.

But the Grocery Outlet in Vancouver might be the best-kept secret. While they’ve been busy they’ve been able to keep most of their shelves stocked. But store officials told KOIN 6 News they’re doing about 2 days worth of business in one day — and they’re calling in more employees to help.

Shopping carts packed to the brim at a Vancouver grocery store amid the coronavirus pandemic, March 13, 2020. (KOIN)

For the most part their shoppers have stayed calm. But now with schools closed, some shoppers with kids said they’re going through products at a much faster rate.

“I already feel like I stocked up some and am back getting more things like milk today,” said Lacy Ogle. “My group will go through some of the basics like milk and eggs pretty quickly.”

After this story aired, Grocery Outlet in Vancouver announced it was out of toilet paper.

The run on items at the grocery stores comes on the heels of Oregon effectively shutting down for at least 2 weeks. In Washington, schools are closed for 6 weeks.

Shoppers cleaned out aisles of paper products and cereals at area stores over the coronavirus, March 12, 2020 (KOIN)

Gov. Kate Brown announced the statewide closure of public schools will be in effect from March 16 to March 31. Brown’s office said in a statement the decision was made after considering “staffing challenges and health concerns due to the public health threat of coronavirus.”

Colleges and universities adjusted their teaching methods. Businesses are adjusting to work-at-home employees. Parents are struggling to figure out child care issues and how they can manage in uncertain economic times.

And in that vein are grocery stores.

Customers at all stores said what may be more frustrating than dwindling supplies is the long wait in the check-out line.

Complete KOIN 6 News coronavirus coverage

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