There is no indication that grocery stores will be shutting down during the coronavirus outbreak, Sheriff Gary Anderson said Wednesday.
Therefore, he and other emergency leaders said, there’s no need to stock up or hoard items like toilet paper, food, etc.
“I got a report this morning that as soon as trucks are coming in that people are going and buying as much toilet paper as they possibly can,” Anderson said. “There’s no indication whatsoever that the grocery stores are going to be shut down.”
Local stores have struggled to keep a wide range of items in stock, from hand sanitizer and toilet paper to food.
The shortages caused by stocking up, or in some cases “hoarding,” only expands the threat to public health.
How much should locals be purchasing during the coronavirus outbreak?
“You just need to have your common supply that you would normally have,” Anderson said. “It’s just an overreaction. ... I think everybody just needs to step back, relax.”
Emergency agencies are struggling to be able to get disinfectant because of the over-shopping during the outbreak. These facilities continue to be in contact with the public and are open 24/7.
Anderson said it’s vital that emergency responders are able to get the supplies they need to sanitize frequently not only for the coronavirus, but influenza. If an outbreak in the responder community would begin, losing a quarter of the workforce could send services to a grinding halt in the community.
Responders locally and statewide have been working with grocers to curb panic buying.
“We haven’t seen a big need for all the toilet paper that’s been bought yet, they’ve just hoarded it up,” said ADLM Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Lamb.
Additionally, Anderson said local emergency partners have seen food being purchased in amounts that it can not possibly be consumed before it would expire.
Responsible shopping is a way for the citizens of Centerville and Appanoose County to come together, Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry said.
“We’ve always been a community that comes together when we need to,” Demry said. “And this is a perfect example of that. This is not the time to be selfish. ... Just do your normal business when it comes to that type of thing.”