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Phoenix pharmacies are struggling to keep hand sanitizers and surgical masks on the shelves following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warnings that the spread of new coronavirus cases in the United States is inevitable.

As of Friday, there had been a confirmed case in Arizona. A member of the Arizona State University community tested positive in January after a trip to Wuhan, China. He has since been released from isolation after numerous negative tests.

A vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is not yet available, therefore the CDC suggests daily preventive actions to avoid exposure and disease.

It is recommended that you wash your hands frequently with soap and water, but health officials also claim that alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used as a substitute when soap and water are not available.

Many brands of hand sanitizers are currently out of stock at online retailers such as Amazon and Walgreens. The Republic visited pharmacies around Phoenix on Friday and found that many stores had run out of normal-sized bottles, but still carried travel-sized hand sanitizer.

The Target and Walmart stores of Christown Spectrum near Bethany Home Road and 19th Avenue were stocked with hand sanitizer the size of a trip around Friday midday. Walmart also carried a handful of regular sized bottles, while Walgreens on Christown Spectrum was still stocked with bottles of both sizes.

A handful of hand sanitizer bottles on the Walmart shelf in the Christown Specter in Phoenix on February 28, 2020. (Photo: Chelsea Hofmann / La Repubblica)

Some hand sanitizers the size of a trip to CVS Pharmacy near Central Avenue and McDowell Road were also found on Friday morning. The pharmacy had recently supplied a limited supply of surgical masks. A box of 10 masks was sold for $ 15.99, excluding taxes.

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Surgical face masks appeared to be even shorter than hand sanitizers in the Phoenix area.

Surgical masks are to be worn by those who exhibit the symptoms of COVID-19, by healthcare professionals and by those who take care of someone in nearby settings, according to the CDC.

The CDC suggests that those in good health should not wear a mask to protect themselves, but residents around the Phoenix subway and across the nation have been seen increasingly wearing them in public.

Walgreens on Central Avenue. and Osborn Road in Phoenix was sold out with surgical masks on February 28, 2020. (Photo: Chelsea Hofmann / La Repubblica)

Sherwin Williams’ paint shop near Buckeye Road and 16th Street still had a few boxes of masks left after Friday afternoon, but an employee told the Republic that the shop is limiting customers to buying five. boxes per person. A box of 10 masks was sold for around $ 20 after tax.

Stephen Borowy, director of the Safeway pharmacy near Seventh Avenue and Osborn Road, said his shop was unable to supply the masks because the wholesaler is also out.

“We ended up pretty quickly,” said Borowy. “It’s probably been three weeks since we had one.”

Target at Christown Spectrum, which houses a CVS pharmacy, was sold with masks and reported that the last box was sold on February 9th.

Several online medical supply sites were sold without masks and included statements on their sites regarding supply difficulties due to COVID-19.

Surgical masks can still be purchased in large quantities through Amazon. Quantities include boxes of 50 masks for around $ 40 or boxes of 100 masks for $ 70, with delivery estimated for March 10-13.

Asked about his ability to access masks for his staff, Banner Health told The Republic Friday that Banner hospitals continue to closely monitor inventories of essential supplies as part of the prevention and preparedness related to the outbreak of COVID-19.

“The safety of our employees and patients is paramount to us,” says the note. “We will continue to follow only the recommendations and recommendations of the CDC as our national public health experts.”

Chelsea Hofmann reporter can be reached at chelsea.hofmann@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter @ chofmann528.

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