Shoppers Empty Store Shelves Once Again as Virus Restrictions Tighten

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From big box stores to local grocers, it’s beginning to look a lot like March. New coronavirus restrictions ordered in dozens of counties across the state has prompted panic buying. 

In some stores, paper products and meats are disappearing, just like they did at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Seems like people are getting nervous,” said one shopper. And that’s pushing retailers to put limits on how many items you can put in your baskets.

“In Walnut Creek I noticed that the shelves were empty at that particular aisle and you can only buy so much at one time,” said shopper Forrest Carson.

Panic buying is playing out around the country. A spokesperson for the Washington State Grocers Association says there’s no reason to load up on food or paper products.

Some may think they need to do that because the holiday season is here.

“I think a lot of people are trying to get it done now and make sure they have everything they need,” said Tiffany Sanders of Quality Foods Center. “We’ve got plenty of food in the supply chain, but we need people to buy only what they need right now.”

All of this comes at a time when COVID-19 cases around the country are going up, retailers are working to keep crowds down, and because of that you’re going to see lines.

Walmart is now counting customers who enter and exit – limiting capacity to 20%.

At Costco, customers with a medical condition were once exempt from wearing a mask, but now they need to wear a face shield.

Some stores are going as far as putting Black Friday deals online early, hoping to salvage sales this holiday season.

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