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Hand sanitizer basically gone, but business carrying on as usual for many — so far

Hand sanitizer basically gone, but business carrying on as usual for many — so far

From the Complete coverage: What Idahoans need to know about the coronavirus series
Shortage of supplies

A store shelf sits empty of hand sanitizer Thursday at a drug store in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — Hygiene products are in short supply, and they have been for more than a week.

That’s the most obvious example of how the coronavirus is impacting local businesses so far. Depleted disinfecting supplies is a theme for most grocery and drug stores throughout the Magic Valley — and the country — right now.

Stocks of virtually any cleaning product are dwindling from most retailers’ shelves. People are buying up soap, toilet paper, face masks and bottled water. Some businesses have limited the number of medicine or disinfecting items an individual can purchase.

Swensen’s Markets owner Ben Swensen said that his store’s supplies are holding up relatively well, but hand sanitizer is gone and some brands of toilet paper won’t be back in stock for a few weeks.

“We’re feeling the effects,” Swensen said.

He noted that wholesalers have limited what stores can purchase. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer manufacturers will need a few weeks to catch up to demand.

“We ask for peoples’ patience,” Swensen said. He added that grocery stores will appreciate calmness.

Some local gyms said they’ve seen fewer people show up to exercise as well, as fear keeps some from venturing into public places or coming into contact with frequently touched surfaces.

Some restaurants said they aren’t really seeing any impacts yet.

“We’re expecting that we probably will (see impacts),” Norm’s Cafe Manager Kena Collins said.

Collins said that Norm’s Cafe has an older clientele, many of whom eat at the restaurant every day. The cafe is sanitizing everything in order to keep risk low.

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