'Panic buying' blamed for hand sanitizer shortage in local stores

Growing concerns about the coronavirus have some people stockpiling products like hand sanitizers.

Posted: Mar 5, 2020 4:42 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2020 11:10 AM

CHICO, Calif. - Growing concerns about the coronavirus have some people stockpiling products like hand sanitizers.

Action News Now checked out several stores in Chico, to find out if the fear is causing a shortage in local stores.

Pictured: Chico Walmart leaves a note for customers that they are currently out of hand sanitizer.

WinCo Foods in Chico, California share message to customers after several people scrabble to gather hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizers - millions of people use them every day.

"These are something I keep on hand all the time," said Anne Wheelock, Chico resident. 

But some stores in Chico are running out.

"Surprising! They should have a hell of a lot more," said Pat Conley, Chico resident.

A picture showing an empty Walmart shelf - it's normally packed with hand sanitizers - Now? Empty!

"I guess its a little bit worrisome," said Chico resident, Sam Miller. He added, "I think it's spreading fast enough and it has the potential to be a pretty big problem."

At WinCo, employees posted a sign limiting how much customers can purchase, not just hand sanitizer but other cleaning supplies as well.

RELATED: This map tracks the coronavirus in real time

"I think its definitely ok to be too prepared especially with how many deaths there have been with the coronavirus," said Chico resident, Sierra Seko.

Action News Now checked with Target and Walgreens; both are also out of hand sanitizer.

"If you can, just don't go to crowds. Don't go to any crowd of people. I would avoid concerts," Wheelock said.

Butte County Public Health officials recommend always washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. If you need to cough, cough on your shoulder or a napkin.

Action News Now checked the Walmarts in Oroville and Redding, they are also out of hand sanitizer. 

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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3235045

Reported Deaths: 38268
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles108548815614
San Bernardino2685421719
Riverside2668492970
Orange2391752768
San Diego2300662421
Santa Clara991741278
Kern91119591
Fresno863361084
Sacramento846531194
Alameda71298906
Ventura67066546
San Joaquin60545844
Contra Costa55593492
Stanislaus49500803
Tulare43574542
Monterey38434261
San Mateo34510356
San Francisco30734293
Santa Barbara27149267
Solano27141118
Imperial25745510
Merced25743332
Sonoma25160251
Kings20223161
Placer18034188
San Luis Obispo17151161
Madera14068175
Santa Cruz13088136
Marin12067166
Yolo11276146
Shasta10144132
Butte9865136
El Dorado824566
Sutter812984
Napa807050
Lassen530916
San Benito523851
Yuba522730
Tehama456446
Tuolumne351241
Nevada339473
Mendocino332236
Amador307433
Lake272932
Humboldt265227
Glenn202822
Colusa19079
Calaveras171323
Siskiyou150413
Mono11454
Inyo105329
Del Norte8783
Plumas6185
Modoc3924
Mariposa3575
Trinity3065
Sierra950
Alpine740
Unassigned00
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