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Area stores experience shortages of some items

NATCHEZ — If you are looking for hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial soap you might just be out of luck in the Miss-Lou.

Friday afternoon, many store shelves were bare — once filled with everything from rubbing alcohol and Lysol to toilet paper and water.

Carol Loy of Supermarket Operations — which operates grocery stores in Natchez, Vidalia, Ferriday, McComb and Ball, Louisiana — said the grocery chain is doing everything they can to keep items on the shelves.

“We have definitely seen an uptick in customers,” Loy said.

The reaction by customers is due to the increasing threat posed by the new coronoavirus that swept through China late last year and earlier this year and has been detected within the United States.

Friday, officials with the Mississippi Department of Health announced six confirmed cases of the virus in the state, including three from Forrest County and one from LeFlore County, the other two Mississippi locations have not yet been identified. In Louisiana, officials have confirmed 36 cases of the virus, most in Orleans Parish.

Loy said many items, such as antibacterial soap, rubbing alcohol, wipes and hand sanitizers, are out not only in their stores, but also in the Baton Rouge warehouse that supplies their stores.

“Many of those items are out and we can’t get them,” Loy said.

Loy said the stores as of Friday afternoon still had toilet paper and other paper products on the shelves, although supplies were limited.

At the Walmart in Vidalia, shelves were bare of toilet paper, cleaning products and other sanitizing products. Shelves of bottled water were also low Friday.

In addition to trying to keep shelves stocked, Loy said the store is paying special attention to keep the store clean with commercial cleaning products.

“Our goal is every time somebody checks out, we wipe down the area around the register,” Loy said.

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