Disinfectant spray, wipes (and yes, toilet paper) snapped up in Saskatoon thanks to COVID-19 concern
SASKATOON -- On the same day the province confirmed Saskatchewan's first presumptive case of COVID-19, a 60-year-old Saskatoon man, the stocks of certain items dwindled in supermarkets, hardware stores and even convenience stores throughout the city.
Toilet paper, which has become emblematic of the steps some are taking to prepare for a possible self-quarantine, appeared to be the biggest seller. Several stores CTV News visited Thursday afternoon were completely out of the product, including Costco on Market Drive and the city's downtown 7-Eleven location.
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A note hanging from empty shelves at Sobeys in Stonebridge read “Due to the sudden record-breaking increase in demand for toilet paper, we are currently out of stock on ALL varieties of toilet paper.”
At Superstore on 8th street, shoppers were seen putting rolls into their carts as fast as new supply was being unloaded from cardboard boxes. Only a few rolls were left in the aisles. Lineups at checkout extended across the main aisle of the store.
Shelves usually stocked with disinfectant sprays and wipes, as well as bleach, were empty in several stores. Shoppers were also seen loading up their carts with rubbing alcohol where it was available.
Many carts and baskets were full of bottled water, from small bottles right up to the five-gallon jugs. The supply of powdered milk, as well as sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade was running low at several stores.
Oatmeal and some brands of cereal, granola bars, canned beans and fruit, and frozen fruit and vegetables were popular items.
Health Canada does recommend stocking up on essential items to reduce the need to shop if you become sick or to avoid leaving home during the peak of a potential outbreak.
However, the agency also suggests that large-scale purchases be avoided to prevent unnecessary stress on the supply chain.
Advice that many Saskatoon shoppers didn't seem to be taking Thursday afternoon.