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Outdoor heaters, propane tank sales rise as many prepare for Thanksgiving

Many people in the Charlotte region are changing their holiday plans, doing what they can to not pass COVID-19 around the Thanksgiving table.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many Americans, and Carolinians, are changing their plans for Thanksgiving, taking their dining room outside to stay healthy during the holidays. 

Stores are also feeling the hit, with outdoor items and supplies flying off the shelves as people change their plans with a week to go until Thanksgiving. 

"It's been rough," said  Angelina Villalobos who was shopping at Lowe's Home Improvement in Charlotte's South End. 

She said she's had to change her plans as she puts her family's health first. 

"There's maybe four people at the Thanksgiving, otherwise if there wasn't a pandemic, it'd be like 16," she added. 

RELATED: CDC recommends Americans don't travel for Thanksgiving amid rise in COVID-19 cases

The store off South Boulevard and Iverson Way has been busy supplying the things shoppers need to take their meals outside, comfortably. 

"I think everyone's trying to take the utmost precautions to ensure that they're keeping them safe," said Gary McCoy, the store manager. 

People are stocking up on things like foldable chairs and tables, patio fire pits and heaters, and things to keep you warm. 

"Anything that you could take outside and keep a crowd warm with, we've really seen increased demand for," McCoy noted. 

Propane tanks are also being sold and refilled as folks prepare to fry turkeys outside. 

"I would suggest getting them fast," McCoy noted. 

RELATED: Universities offering free, rapid COVID testing before Thanksgiving

It's not unique to Charlotte. Stores across the country, including in Washington, D.C. are seeing an increase in demand as well. 

"Patio heaters and tabletop patio heaters -- they are definitely completely out of stock," said Charlie Hawkins, the manager of Frager's Hardware, as he spoke with WUSA9. 

A holiday unlike any other, with some doing what they can, not to pass COVID around the table.

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