Tips for shopping amid coronavirus fears

Stores see drop just before noon after morning rush

ORLANDO, Fla. – Shoppers are used to seeing empty store shelves usually packed with disinfecting wipes, water and toilet paper but at the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread people continue to stock up—maybe, unnecessarily. If you do venture out, here’s how to make the most of your shopping trip.

Lines are forming before some stores open, as people are in search of hard-to-find items and because some stores open early to allow for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions to shop and avoid the crowds. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at higher risk from becoming seriously ill from the novel coronavirus, as are those with underlying health conditions.

To avoid these lines, store clerks News 6 spoke to said they’ve noticed business slows down a little before noon. At that point, the morning rush is over and it’s when employees have time to restock.

Another tip: If you are shopping at the end of the day and the store doesn’t have what you need that doesn’t mean it’s not there or coming soon.

Empty shelves at Publix due to coronavirus fears.
Empty shelves at Publix due to coronavirus fears. (WKMG 2020)

Store employees said they can get shipments throughout the day—especially with produce-- and might not have time to restock until the day is over.

It never hurts to ask if they have items in the back.

Lastly, think out side the box, specifically, the big box stores. Local mom-and-pop grocers, convenience stores and bodegas have a lot to offer and might not be getting hit by the toilet-paper hoarding crowds.

Many of these tips can be store specific. Be sure to talk to your local grocer and just ask them.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

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