CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Tuesday, the number of hand sanitizers and face masks available at pharmacies was low or non-existent due to fears of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
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Pike’s Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist Jesse Pike said more customers started shopping for these products ten days ago.
“Our patients come in looking for these products because they’re worried, scared this new virus is going to perhaps harm themselves or their loved ones,” Pike said.
Pike’s Pharmacy primarily focuses on filling prescriptions for patients and offers a small quantity of over the counter products for the convenience of their customers.
“We don’t see a lot of movement in these kinds of things, maybe several a week, but now we have none to offer because we are unable to get any of these products,” Pike said.
He added suppliers are listing those products as unavailable.
Amity Medical Group HIV Director and Physician Assistant Wesley Thompson said the pharmacy at the primary care clinic on East W.T. Harris Blvd is also out of masks. The clinic still has a stock of masks for healthcare workers and patients.
Thompson doesn’t recommend a healthy person to wear a mask in public. He said the only people who should be wearing masks are those who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
“I think if people go out and buy masks and wear them it’s going to cause some undue concern where we really don’t need it,” Thompson said.
On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a person from Wake County has tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The person traveled to the State of Washington and was exposed to a long-term facility with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Thompson said people can help protect themselves by practicing good hygiene habits and keeping a proper distance from other people.
“I encourage people to remember good hand washing and good social distancing are the important measures. The coronavirus isn’t new. We see it every year. There are multiple different kinds of the coronavirus that range from the very minor cold symptoms to more severe flu-like illnesses,” Thompson said.
He added the majority of people who would be exposed to the coronavirus will experience a mild cold-like episode that will be resolved with no issue.