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As coronavirus cases rise, stores struggle to keep shelves stocked

Stocking up seems to be a natural reaction to fear and uncertainty as we all hunker down to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Supermarkets have been non-stop during the coronavirus outbreak with children home from school, parents working from home and the possibility that the Carolinas will follow other states and cities by closing restaurants and bars. 

The crowds were larger at stores than on a typical Monday, that may be overwhelming for some people working on social distancing, and patience will be key so that everyone can get what they need to make it through.

Stocking up seems to be a natural reaction to fear and uncertainty as we all hunker down to try and stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“I got my eggs, 50 pounds of rice, my chicken 40 pounds,” said Arlene Douglas. 

She shopped at Restaurant Depot before heading to Walmart on Freedom Drive.

"We're getting extra frozen, we're getting extra bread, we're getting extra toilet paper just things that we need that we might anticipate running out of so we don't have to keep coming back to the store,” said Meredith Findling. She said Walmart was restocked and had more on Monday than it did on Sunday.

The pictures speak for themselves, lines out the door and empty shelves, people are panic buying.

"All the meats were gone, all the canned goods were gone, the freezer aisle was pretty much gone,” said Bradley Langley.

What you'll find depends on where you go and what time you get there. Toilet paper aisles are bare and no section of the store is immune as people fill up carts. 

At the Publix on South Boulevard, eggs were restocked in the morning. By 2:00 p.m., they were nearly gone.

Stores are cutting down on hours to restock and clean the stores. Publix will close at 8 every night, Harris Teeter at 9 p.m. and 24-hour Walmart’s are reducing their hours and closing at 11.

The people shopping inside of the stores are also being cautious.

“People are definitely keeping their distance. Wearing gloves, there’s hand sanitizer everywhere so it's not a scary experience,” said Findling.

A reminder to wash your hands before and after shopping and wipe down your cart.


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