Supplies run low as coronavirus cases appear in South Florida

MIAMI SHORES, FLA. (WSVN) - People have been met with disappointment while shopping for disinfectants at several stores across South Florida after Broward County confirmed its fourth case of the coronavirus.

Some shoppers, like Miami resident Berina Dardy, could not find what they were looking for at their local stores on Tuesday.

“They don’t have no hand sanitizer,” Dardy said. “They don’t even have no Lysol. My truck here, we have to wipe it down. We don’t want no damn coronavirus.”

Hand sanitizer, disinfectant and other household cleaners are considered hot commodities.

People in the community agree that they are more alert when it comes to hygiene, but staying hygienic is difficult with a shortage of supplies.

Aneesh Lakhani, the owner of Garden Drugs in Oakland Park, said the store cannot keep product on their shelves.

“I have sold over 1,000 masks,” Lakhani said. “I have cases and cases of sanitizer. We have some sanitizers for the staff and cleaners to keep the pharmacy clean, but basically none available for sale anymore at this point.”

Suppliers are also limiting what stores can purchase as they try to meet the high demand.

“It’s a typical panic reaction,” a man said.

When asked if she was concerned about the coronavirus, shopper Alejandra Ragastine said, “Of course we are. We have some type of precaution, but it’s kind of difficult.”

7News cameras captured store after store in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with empty shelves that once held cleaning supplies.

“They were here and gone in an instant,” another man said.

There was no hand sanitizer at a CVS Pharmacy along Southwest Eighth Street, and it was a similar sight at a Walgreens on Flagler Street in Miami.

A lone bottle of hand sanitizer was left at a Target in Hollywood. That store also ran out of wipes, and there was a single bottle of Clorox spray on the shelves, a few aisles down.

Some wipes were left at a Publix in Fort Lauderdale. That store is limiting customers to two items.

However, back in Miami Shores, the shelves there were bare, as they were running a buy one, get one deal on Clorox products.

Out of stock stickers lined shelves at a North Miami Walmart. Customers there cannot buy regular hand soap. Then, there are some customers turning their attention to toilet paper and grabbing whatever they can, leaving shelves more bare than usual.

“Nothing at all everywhere,” Ragastine said. “We went to Target, Walgreens, CVS, everywhere. It’s crazy.”

Store representatives said they are being restocked regularly, and consumers will have to remain patient as they fill up their shelves.

“Basically, if you look hard, you can find it,” a woman said. “We found [some products] here.”

State officials are warning Floridians of possible price gouging due to the shortage of supplies.

If you would like to file a report for price gouging, call 1-866-966-7226 or visit www.myflorida.com.

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