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Shoppers Clear Store Shelves, Hoping To Prepare For Coronavirus

<p>Shoppers visit a Costco Wholesale in Tigard, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, after reports of Oregon's first case of coronavirus was announced in the nearby Oregon city of Lake Oswego on Friday.</p>
<p>Shoppers visit a Costco Wholesale in Tigard, Ore., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, after reports of Oregon's first case of coronavirus was announced in the nearby Oregon city of Lake Oswego on Friday.</p>

As presumptive cases of the novel coronavirus appear in Oregon, grocery and department stores notice that shoppers are trying to prepare.

One Walgreens in Portland said items such as hand sanitizer, wipes, face masks, and rubbing alcohol were gone by Saturday. The store doesn’t expect to have more of those items until March 7. It also noticed a significant jump in people getting flu shots over the last week, more so than usual at this time of year.

A Trader Joe’s in Portland had its second busiest day in the store’s 16-year history Saturday, with various staple foods such as beans and rice  cleaned out.

Portlanders on social media commented about crowds at Costco clearing store shelves of various staples and sanitizing supplies.

While some stores are seeing shoppers stock up, other stores notice less foot traffic.

Leta Burgett works at Zupan’s Markets on Southwest Macadam in Portland.

“What I’ve noticed is fewer customers, but the customers that are coming are buying more product,” Burgett said. “Not quite ‘stocking up’ level, but I’ve definitely noticed that people are a little bit more hesitant to head out.”

Health officials recommend that people take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as washing their hands with soap for 20 seconds, and covering coughs and sneezes.

The Oregon Health Authority announced the state’s second presumed confirmed case of novel coronavirus Sunday evening – an "adult household contact" linked to an initial case in Lake Oswego that was announced Friday. Officials say the individual did not require medical attention, and is recovering at home in isolation.

On March 1, officials in Washington confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in King County, bringing the county total to six.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting