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Solano County residents scramble to find masks, hand sanitizer amid coronavirus outbreak

Bay Area

SUISUN CITY, Calif. (KRON) — North Bay neighbors are scrambling to find masks in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

In Suisun City, the masks are completely out of stock.

“It’s scary because I knew this was going to happen as soon as it broke out from China and they start coming back home,” Martin Lowe said. “I said there’s no way they can contain it now.”

Lowe works with hazardous materials and already has a heavy-duty respirator mask.

But he stopped by Suisun Ace Hardware in Suisun City to buy extra canisters and a few N-95 masks for his family.

But like the other stores he’s visited — the wall is empty and the masks are sold out.

He believes deep concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus is warranted.

“It’s getting closer and closer. It’s in Sac now. We had it right here in Fairfield — they’re right there at Travis, and I’m here in Fairfield now, so it’s kinda scary,” he said. “People just popped up with it and they don’t know where they got it from.”

Assistant store manager Dawn Kirby said the N-95 masks have been unavailable since the weekend.

It’s the model the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends to the public during the outbreak.

And, she said consumer requests have increased since Solano County declared a proclamation of local emergency Thursday in response to the virus.

“They’re very upset that we don’t have them, you know, and can’t blame them,” Kirby said. “They’re going out looking for them. Some of them were even using painter’s masks, and we’re all out of them also.”

Finding hand sanitizer is also a challenge.

Customers have cleared the shelves.

“When the bird flu, and the swine flu, we had the same kind of situation,” Melodee Clarke said. “And I think people are just being prepared.”

Ace Hardware said it’s unclear when the next shipments of masks and hand sanitizer will arrive.

The store said vendors are not committing to deliveries because they too are in short supply.

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