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‘There’s no reason:’ Pharmacy manager reports ‘people are hoarding’ supplies amid coronavirus

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MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 News stopped at five stores in the Milwaukee area Wednesday, March 4 and found most had little to no stock of soap, sanitizer, or hand wipes -- a result of coronavirus concerns, according to one worker.

At Hayat Pharmacy in Milwaukee, workers told FOX6 on Wednesday suppliers were having difficulty keeping up with how fast items were flying off the shelves.

"Three or four different wholesalers that we work with, everybody is out," said John Warzyn, manager at the North Avenue Hayat location, who noted face masks in high demand. "What we have on the shelves, which isn't much, is what we can get right now. People are hoarding them, and there is no reason for that."

Warzyn said they decided to limit how much hand sanitizer people could purchase.

"If it's our own customer, we'll let them get two or three bottles, but just someone walking into the store is limited to one bottle," said Warzyn.

Empty shelves amid coronavirus concerns

Empty shelves amid coronavirus concerns

On Milwaukee's east side, Adonis Torrence said Wednesday he hadn't yet noticed a shortage at the places he shops.

"Not yet, but I'm looking out for them," said Torrence. "I just thought everyone had that kind of stuff already."

He offered some sound advice:

"Wash your hands," said Torrence. "There are other viruses, so."

"Just hope it all settles down soon," said Warzyn.

Empty shelves amid coronavirus concerns

Officials with SC Johnson, based in Racine, said they were seeing increased demand for their cleaning products. A spokesman issued this statement to FOX6 News Wednesday:

“We are deeply concerned for all those people who have been impacted by this disease. To date we have donated $1 million yuan to the Red Cross in China and will continue to provide both monetary and product support as this outbreak develops. We are seeing an increased demand for some of our products, such as hand sanitizers. We are monitoring this situation closely as it continues to evolve. We are working throughout our organization to assess how we can provide further support to address the needs of people around the world.”

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