Coronavirus causes shortage of masks at pharmacies

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to health officials, two deaths in the United States are being blamed on the coronavirus.

Officials say both people were from Washington State. One person was man in his 50’s and another person was in his 70’s. Both of the men had underlying health issues and neither of them recently traveled abroad.

New cases are being reported in California, New York, and Rhode Island. The total in the country is around 80.

There’s about 3,000 people who have died from the coronavirus worldwide.

People are worrying about the virus and they want to protect themselves, but it’s causing a shortage for some products.

For example, companies that make protective masks can’t keep up with the demand.

The owner at Grassroots Pharmacy in Lexington says people are calling them frequently asking if there are any masks available.

“For several weeks the answer has been no and we can’t get them and we don’t know when we’ll be able to get them in either,” said Shelley Roberts, Grassroots Pharmacy Owner.

Owner, Shelley Roberts says her primary and secondary wholesaler can’t get her anymore masks and she’s not alone.

“Nobody can get masks and the ones that are able to maybe get some, they’re at a high price,” said Roberts.

According to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, masks offer you very little protection from getting sick.

“Every time you take a mask you’re keeping it from someone else who really needs it and it could be life or death for that person,” said Kevin Hall, Health Department Spokesperson.

The Health Department says the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are sick.

There are other products that are dealing with shortages including cleaning products. Due to panic buying, supply can’t keep up with the demand and that’s leading to empty store shelves in the cleaning aisle.

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