BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is sending shoppers rushing to stores, only to find some of the items they were looking for out of stock.

Numerous stores have struggled to keep basics like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on their shelves.

“It’s like everybody came in and wiped out everything,” Annette, a Baltimore resident, told WJZ.

Claire Scott agreed.

“I haven’t seen hand sanitizer anywhere,” she said.

The sentiment echoed for other Baltimore residents.

“We went to go get some hand sanitizer, some toilet paper. The shelves were empty. There’s like 4 per person,” Teddy, a Baltimore resident, said.

The high demand and limited supply have forced some stores like Safeway to limit the quantities of items each customer can buy.

Some stores opened Friday morning to find lines of customers reminiscent of Thanksgiving or Black Friday.

At BJs Wholesale Club in White Marsh, there was a line of cars trying to park just 20 minutes after opening.

Even Giant Foods, which is normally empty in the early morning hours was busy Friday morning.

Thursday night was busy too, with lines at Costco wrapping around the store.

Target, the only big-box store in Canton, had many empty shelves and signs saying they were working hard to replenish shelves.

Everything from toilet paper to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and soap were gone.

Canned goods, bread, water and other food items were also low in supply. There were empty shelves at Harris Teeter in downtown too!

With so many people trying to snap up the essentials, CBS News reports some retailers are accused of raising prices and price-gouging consumers.

READ MORE: A $220 bottle of Lysol? Coronavirus leads to price-gouging on Amazon

Hoping to head online to shop? You may be out of luck there, too: some hand sanitizers from Walmart and Amazon are either out-of-stock or aren’t expected to ship for weeks.

Some people are even turning to places like Facebook Marketplace in search of household items. A listing on the marketplace from Glen Burnie has a one-ounce container of hand sanitizer up for $5 and an 8-ounce container for $14.

In Windsor Mill, someone has listed a 28-ounce hand sanitizer pump for $25.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.


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