Coronavirus: Toilet paper and disinfectant wipes flying off shelves in Kingston area

With the new coronavirus continuing to spread in Ontario, a lot of stores and consumers are taking advice from local health officials by stocking up and taking extra precautions these days.

Many businesses, such as Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart and grocery stores have placed hand sanitizer and wipes at the entrance, encouraging customers to clean their hands and grocery carts.

Bulk Barn has stopped its reusable container program, saying, “out of an abundance of caution due to COVID-19 uncertainties, we have determined that it is appropriate at this point to be extra vigilant.”

When it comes to stocking up, it appears people are busy buying anything to keep their hands clean, such as hand sanitizer, Lysol and disinfectant wipes. Shelves in many stores in Kingston are either low or out of stock.

Another item that many stores can’t seem to keep on their shelves is toilet paper. According to an employee at Costco, when a shipment comes in, the stock that they have only lasts until noon.

While there are no cases in the city, Dr. Kieran Moore, Kingston’s medical officer of health, says “it’s just a matter of time.”

“Local KFL&A residents are encouraged to take steps to ensure they are prepared to self-isolate for two weeks (14 days) in the event they, or someone in their home, becomes ill with COVID-19,” he said.

“If an individual is asked to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19, they will be asked to stay in their home and limit contact with others.”

Local health officials are advising people to ensure they have an adequate supply of non-perishable foods, prescriptions, cleaning and hygiene supplies to stay home for two weeks if they become ill.

They want to remind people to limit the spread of germs by cleaning your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer; cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm; avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands; and get your annual influenza vaccine.

KFL&A Public Health is in COVID-19 response planning by working with local, provincial and national health agencies on the evolving situation.

It will be sharing timely information about the evolving COVID-19 situation with the community so KFL&A residents can continue to make informed decisions about their health.


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