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Bend Costco shoppers line up, stockpile after local COVID-19 case

Some worry it could mean fewer supplies for ill people in true need

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Costco opened 15 minutes later than scheduled Thursday, leading to a long waiting line of shoppers that wrapped around the side of the building, the day after Deschutes County's first presumptive positive COVID-19 case was identified.

Costco was scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m. and instead, according to some customers, workers did not start letting people inside the store until about 9:45 a.m.

NewsChannel 21 caught up with some shoppers to hear why they were stocking up on supplies.

Shoppers said they were doing so mostly out of concern about how COVID-19 could affect future supply and demand.

"We’re just worried about the supply chain getting cut off, if the government decides to implement some more contingencies and limit people's travel and limit commerce," said Nick Lewton of Bend.

Another Bend resident, Shannon Guerrero, said she was just at Costco to buy baked chicken. She said the line of people waiting outside before it opened may have been longer than usual, but so were all of the checkout lines inside.

"So we thought that we would stock up on dog food and diapers and toilet paper. It's stuff we know we’ll eat through anyways, but just getting ahead of that."

"You know how they keep stock up on top?" Guerrero said. "There’s a lot of the stock that’s empty up above what’s available for customers to take. The lines were really long. I felt like I was at Disneyland."

Some people expressed concern on Facebook about how people stockpiling on supplies like hand sanitizers and Clorox wipes could be doing more harm than good, especially to those who may already have illnesses.

Katie Jalo of Bend said her dad has cancer and is one of those who may be at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, due to his weaker immune system.

"He is one of the people that should be able to have access to hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes, just because he's not going out in public a whole lot," Jalo said. "It just seems a little unfair that other people who are totally fine are buying up everything."

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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