Store shelves cleared of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes after confirmed cases of coronavirus in Tampa Bay

Posted at 7:58 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 23:13:19-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Some store shelves are empty after the Tampa Bay area has two confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Customers are now finding it difficult to locate hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes.


Alan Collins said he keeps those items at home on a weekly basis.

"I do keep stuff like that at home, I haven't bought anything like that in the last two weeks," said Collins.

Collins said he is slightly concerned about traveling and hopes people practice good hygiene.

"I have a wedding to go to in Las Vegas in May so I'm concerned a little bit about that, but what do you do? It's family. It's your sister, you got to go," said Collins.

The Walmart on North Dale Mabry in Tampa had some empty shelves on Monday evening. The travel size hand sanitizers were gone.

The Dollar Tree at Gunn Highway and Anderson Road in Tampa had a sign on its door on Monday notifying customers that the store was out of face masks and hand sanitizers.

"Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap is definitely going to protect you more than just using hand sanitizer," said Christina Wilsey.

Health officials encourage people to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean commonly touched surfaces and to stay home if you're sick.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well to wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases including COVID-19.

Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of diseases to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in a close setting.

For more information on the CDC guidelines on coronavirus, click here.