Home of the Jim Heath Channel and Fact News

Toilet paper, disinfectant and groceries are once again flying off the shelveswith states forced to impose stricter lockdowns and the number of new COVID-19 cases spiking to 166,000 yesterday.

Pictures taken in recent days show stores in Washington, California, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Michigan and Missouri have all been affected by the rush.

It is the second time this year that shoppers appear to be panic buying; stores were left scrambling to restock shelves wiped out in response to COVID-19 back in March.

But experts say the run is likely to be less severe this time as stores and shoppers are more prepared.

Subodha Kumar, a supply chain expert at Temple University, said ‘People have already hoarded a lot of this stuff in their basements.’

A new flurry of lockdown measures came as 40 states reported record daily increases in COVID-19 cases this month, while 20 states have registered all-time highs in daily coronavirus-related deaths and 26 reported new peaks in hospitalizations, according to the Reuters tally.

The nation as a whole has averaged more than 148,000 new cases a day, and 1,120 daily deaths, over the past week.

Several governors, from New Jersey and California to Iowa and Ohio, acted on Monday to restrict gatherings ahead of Thanksgiving and boost face-coverings in confronting a coronavirus surge they warned is out of control.

Each of the four governors cited health data showing the pandemic reaching its most perilous point yet in the US, threatening to overwhelm hospitals and claim thousands more lives in the weeks ahead.

In New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order went into effect Monday. Only essential businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, will be open.

The virus is blamed for more than 246,000 deaths and over 11 million confirmed infections in the the U.S. Thanksgiving was on the minds of leaders nationwide as they enacted tougher restrictions amid fears that the holiday will lead to more infections.

In Virginia ABC8 News reports some large chains, including Kroger and Walmart, are already experiencing the second wave of panic buying.

One local store owner Norm Gold told the network: ‘There will be a second rush. I am very confident in my store and what we have now. They learned from what happened six months ago and they brought product in early.’

Target said they will enforce purchase limits if necessary.





Earlier this year grocers were forced to limit purchases of products like Purell sanitizers, Lysol cleaning spray and canned soup.

Companies like Walmart, Target and Wegman’s curbed store hours for the public in order to give workers time to restock shelves.

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States spiked to 166,000 Monday as hospitalizations nationwide surged to a record high of 73,000.

Deaths are still trending upwards nationally with the number of Americans dying of COVID-19 increasing by 12 percent in the last week.

The daily death toll, which was just shy of 1,000 fatalities yesterday, is still well below the peak 2,500 deaths recorded in April during the initial peak of the virus.

The US has recorded more than 1 million new COVID-19 cases in the last week alone as new infections rose in every state except for Hawaii.

It marks the fastest time it has taken for the national tally to grow by a million cases throughout the pandemic.

Kroger spokesperson Eric Halverson said: ‘We learned a lot about our supply and demand last May and April during the start of the pandemic. The key is for us to make sure people don’t panic and don’t hoard. There is plenty of food in the supply chain.

‘What we learned was we didn’t impose product restrictions early enough and that created a run on the system and created some difficulties for people.’

Health experts have projected the coming holiday travel season and the onset of colder weather, with more people tending to congregate indoors, is likely to worsen the situation.

More than 70,000 Americans were hospitalized for treatment of COVID-19 as of Monday, the most ever at any time since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters tally of public health figures.

The number of U.S. infections documented to date surpassed 11 million on Monday, a little more than a week after crossing the 10-million mark – the fastest time it has taken for the national tally to grow by a million cases.

The spike in cases and hospitalizations has been especially striking in places like Iowa, a largely rural, Midwestern Corn Belt state spared the worst ravages of the pandemic when it began eight months ago.

In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee had already said: ‘I really hope we don’t have hoarding going on in our stores. That’s really not necessary and most unhelpful.’

He ordered gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, museums and zoos to shut down indoor operations.

Stores must limit capacity to 25%. People from different households will be barred in Washington from gathering indoors unless they have quarantined.

There is no enforcement mechanism.

Inslee said he hopes people obey anyway.

A Fred Meyer spokesman told the network: ‘There is plenty of product in the supply chain as long as customers only purchase what they need.’

One grocery worker in Seattle told The Daily Beast: ‘They’re [essential items] going really fast now.’

Another worker added: ‘People are stockpiling now not because they’re afraid of being stuck at home, but because they’ve seen everyone else buying it up and are afraid they won’t be able to get any when they need it later.’

Karl Schroeder, president of the Seattle division of Albertsons companies, told Fox13 Monday: ‘If you were in any of our stores last night, or probably any retailer, it looks like there was a run on paper products, but we have plenty in the warehouses.’

Iowa has registered more than new 52,000 infections over the past two weeks, about the same number documented from March to mid-August, with COVID-19 accounting for one in every four patients now hospitalized in the state.

‘No one wants to do this,’ Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, said in announcing that all indoor gatherings for social, leisure and community events will be limited to 15 people, with outdoor gatherings limited to 30, weddings and funerals included.

In addition, Iowa’s restaurants and bars will be ordered to close by 10 p.m., and masks will be newly required for anyone spending at least 15 minutes in an indoor public space without being able to socially distance, the governor said.

Reynolds said success hinged on public cooperation rather than enforcement.

‘If Iowans don’t buy into this, we lose,’ Reynolds told a news conference. ‘Businesses will close once again. More schools will be forced to go online, our healthcare system will fail, and the cost in human life will be high.’

Similar messages were delivered on Monday by the Democratic governors of California and New Jersey, and their Republican counterpart in Ohio.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he was applying ’emergency brakes’ to his reopening plan, citing a doubling in the daily number of COVID-19 cases reported across the state over the past 10 days.

Under Newsom’s announcement, commercial and social restrictions will be tightened starting Tuesday in 40 of the state’s 58 counties, covering the vast majority of its 40 million residents.

The crackdown means no indoor service in bars and restaurants and more restrictions on many other businesses and public gatherings. C

alifornia is also strengthening its face covering guidance to require individuals to wear a mask whenever outside their home, with limited exceptions, Newsom said.

California shopper Forrest Carson told NBC: ‘In Walnut Creek I noticed that the shelves were empty at that particular aisle and you can only buy so much at one time.’

Stores in Atlanta also have bare shelves, WSB-TV reports. Shopper Bruce Liberman said: ‘I was afraid there may be a shortage coming in the near future. I’d rather go ahead and get it now than try to get it online when it might not be available.’

Some of the most aggressive new actions to confront the crisis were being taken at the local level, such as in Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth most populous city.

Officials there on Monday ordered a ban on ‘indoor gatherings of any size in any location, public or private,’ except among individuals who live together.

‘We need to keep this virus from jumping from one household to another,’ city Health Commissioner Thomas Farley told a news conference.

If the current rate of ‘exponential’ growth in cases continues, hospitals will soon be strained to their limits and more than 1,000 people could die in Pennsylvania’s largest city over the next six weeks, Farley said.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on residents in the nation’s third-largest city to restrict social gatherings to 10 people starting Monday. In instructions that were advisory, not mandatory, she urged residents to stay home except for essential activities, like going to work or grocery shopping.

In New Jersey, one of the hardest-hit states in the early phase of the pandemic, Governor Phil Murphy said he was ordering gatherings of people from different households limited to 10 indoors, down from 25, while the mandatory cap on outdoor gatherings will be lowered to 150 from 500.

In Ohio, where daily case tallies have increased by 17% and total hospitalizations by at least 25% in the past week, the state’s health department issued a revised order to limit mass gatherings starting toay, Governor Mike DeWine announced.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This