Where are toilet paper, paper towels? Stores seeing shortage again as COVID-19 cases skyrocket

Shoppers may be having a difficult time finding items like toilet paper, paper towels and bleach wipes once again.

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Now stores like Publix and Kroger are limiting the number of high-demand products that one person can buy at a time.

Walmart said it cannot keep up with the demand it has been seeing, The Associated Press reported.

The company said the shortages correspond to areas where cases of COVID-19 are spiking, CNN reported.

“The specific categories where we have the most strain at the present time would be bath tissue and cleaning supplies,” Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner told analysts, CNN reported.

But the company also assured it is better prepared than earlier this year and has set limits storewide for some products, and that other item limits may be set on a store-by-store basis, the company said in an email.

Amazon has sold out of disinfecting wipes and paper towels again, but company officials are working with suppliers to get the supplies available.

Unlike the last time the coronavirus pandemic had people stockpiling what they thought were necessities, experts said it won’t be quite as bad this time.

Geoff Freeman, present and CEO of the Consumer Brands Association said that lockdowns are regional instead of national like the last time, so everyone is better prepared, the AP reported.

But there are shortages.

About 21% of paper towel shelves are empty.

Part of the problem is that the companies that make the products have had about a 10% decrease in staff due to workers calling off sick because they had come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the AP reported.

And it isn’t just paper towel shelves that are sitting bare.

Safeway and Walmart had no bottled water or disinfectant wipes, one shopper said. And when the same shopper tried to book a window to have groceries be delivered to her home, same-day slots were not available, the AP reported.

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