Hand sanitizer and face masks out of stock as people try to protect themselves from Coronavirus

Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 3:05 PM CST
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Hand sanitizer and facial masks flying off the shelves and sold out in many places around town as people try to battle the yearly flu season and avoid the Coronavirus.

North Platte pharmacist Travis Covey said the USave Pharmacy is all sold out of masks and hand sanitizer, as of Wednesday.

He said currently, people are concerned about the Coronavirus, but to keep in mind that the seasonal flu is going around right now.

"Obviously people are concerned about the Coronavirus, but we need to keep in mind that we also have the seasonal flu going on," said Covey, "Definitely right now we're still in flu season and flu season, historically, has killed more people and caused more sickness than Coronavirus and we can't take either one of them lightly."

Covey said with any sickness, there are some basics that will help keep us healthy.

"Some of the same things that we need to protect ourselves from the seasonal flu are the things we need to be doing to protect ourselves from the Coronavirus," said Covey, "The standard things that go along with stopping the transmission of viruses or bacteria washing your hands frequently especially after you go to the bathroom especially when you're in public places."

With the flu and the Coronavirus, Covey said the public needs to protect themselves but there's no need for hysteria. "There's definitely not a need for panic at this time I think as long as everybody is aware.

He also said the masks they are out of are not sufficient in protecting people from the Coronavirus. "The one thing to keep in mind, the majority of the face masks that were sold, that are being sold in the retail setting, are not adequate to stop the spread of the virus anyway," said Covey ,"The masks that are sold in the retail world are primarily meant for reducing respiratory symptoms of other diseases but not necessarily stopping the transmission of the virus."

He added that the majority of the masks should be reserved for medical professionals. "The recommendation from CDC is for the general population not to stockpile on the masks, for the most part healthy individuals do not need to be wearing the mask and the healthcare providers in the hospitals that are taking care of the sick people, they need those masks."