In light of the rush to buy supplies last week, which left behind many empty shelves, some stores like Costco now have a purchasing limit on certain items.
“The toilet paper – they actually had people handing it out to you. Before it was in the stacks you go pick it up. Now the workers [are] giving it to you,” said Judy Villilovos, a Costco shopper.
At Costco Iwilei there’s a limit of two for brand toilet paper and water.
It’s running out fast,” said Villilovos. “It’s ridiculous. I mean everybody’s going crazy you know. We were like, what is there a big sale or something going on, and they said, no its the panic… everybody’s panicking.”
The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) said people should not panic, but prepare. They say not everything flying off the shelves is something you’ll need.
“There is no reason to think that our food supply or water is threatened. This isn’t a hurricane. There’s no reason to stock up on toilet paper, per se. That’s not going to help,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson, Department of Health director.
Anderson said the focus should be on personal hygiene instead, like hand washing and sanitizing. He said the focus should also be on items that will help prevent the spread of the virus, like cleaning supplies, anti-bacterial wipes and gloves for cleaning.
“I think we need to focus on the things that will make a difference in preventing transmission and not worry about catastrophes occuring at this point in time,” said Dr. Anderson.
If you do get sick, the DOH said the 14-day kit is so you already have what you need at home, so you don’t have to go out and buy more, like medicine and face masks.
Officials say a mask can help a keep a sick person from spreading their germs, but can’t prevent a healthy person from getting sick.
The Hawaii Department of Health said its not expecting any disruption of supply coming into Hawaii so they recommend taking your time to shop.