Stores see toilet paper, cleaning supplies shortage as COVID-19 cases climb in Louisiana

Stores see toilet paper, cleaning supplies shortage as COVID-19 cases climb in Louisiana

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases rise, we’re seeing supplies like toilet paper and disinfectant wipes flying off of store shelves again just like at the beginning of the pandemic.

Shoppers are buying up these supplies out of fear of another statewide coronavirus shutdown.

“Of course, when they see somebody loading up their basket they think, “well I better load up, too,” said Lake Area resident Judy Montalbano.

Coronavirus cases and deaths have started to climb in the state, and this may be leading to the hoarding of supplies.

Some Lake Area residents say they are stocking up just in case.

“I came grocery shopping today, and I was going to make sure I’m picking up toilet paper and paper towels because I was afraid they were going to have a shortage again, and sure enough, it’s already pretty much bought up,” Dana Wringley said.

“I mean, I hear another lockdown’s coming,” said Sheena Coly. “I know some friends in Oregon that say they’re locked down. It started up there last time making its way down here.”

Walmart acknowledged the high demand in a statement, saying in part, “...we are working through our best-in-class supply chain to replenish items as quickly as possible.”

Eight months after the first wave of COVID-19 panic buying, the hope is this time around it won’t be as severe.

“I got what we need and like one more,” Coly said. “I’m not trying to take more than my share. I’m trying to be prepared but without hurting everybody else.”

“I don’t think people are going to panic as much this time,” Montalbano said. “I think that was a lot of panic.”

The recent coronavirus spikes have also changed how some people are spending Thanksgiving.

“We’re going to do it outside instead of inside the house and space out the tables,” Wrigley said. “We’ve lost several family members to COVID, and we’re afraid that there could be definitely a spike after the holidays.”

Governor John Bel Edwards said last week that he’s not announcing any new restrictions right now, but he may have to if the numbers don’t turn around.

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