Oregonians brace for COVID-19 surge, rush stores

While some will label shoppers as “panic buyers,” others say they’re just staying prepared.

Posted: Nov 16, 2020 6:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As Oregonians prepare for the two-week freeze that begins Wednesday, many say they are having flashbacks of long lines and bare shelves from March and April.

RELATED: WATCH: GOV. BROWN ORDERS TWO-WEEK 'FREEZE' STATEWIDE OVER COVID-19 SURGE

KEZI 9 News spoke to shoppers Monday to find out how they’re feeling and what their game plan is this time around.

Eugene resident Andrea Stoe said she woke up prepared, drank her morning coffee, but didn't expect the sight she saw.

“I was actually kind of surprised,” Stoe said. “I waited to come here until a weekday morning before the freeze started. I thought I would have better luck if I got here right when it opened with finding a parking spot. I was really surprised that the parking lot was full when I got here. It was about 10 minutes after opening, and there was a big line out the door and toward the tire center.”

Stoe, who braved the Costco rush Monday, said people were nice and understanding of one another, even after some waited in line for hours.

“I think we’re all traumatized honestly,” Stoe said. “The first time we experienced this everybody went out and got toilet paper. I feel like the people that didn't get toilet paper last time are getting their toilet paper now.”

While some will label shoppers as “panic buyers,” others believe they’re just staying prepared.

Many said they don’t understand why people take more than they need, since stores like Costco, Safeway and Winco won’t be shutting down entirely.

Others shared that as coronavirus cases increase, anxiety does too and recalled the various items that were quickly stripped from store shelves by buyers at the beginning of the pandemic. They said they’re not taking any chances.

“We drive up from Yachats every five or six weeks, and this is just our regular schedule,” Yachats resident JR Reynolds said. “I’m hoping we can get toilet paper, but I haven't seen anybody bring it out.”

Unfortunately, many shared that the toilet paper shelves were bare Monday afternoon at Costco in Eugene.

“I don't think it will be as crazy as it was last time,” Reynolds said. “I’m on the coast. I’ll take what I can get.”

Beginning on Wednesday, grocery stores, pharmacies and retail stores will be limited to 75% capacity.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 70832

Reported Deaths: 885
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15875232
Washington997499
Marion9017137
Clackamas585377
Umatilla430149
Lane420241
Jackson364428
Malheur237942
Deschutes222814
Yamhill164816
Linn138522
Polk116816
Douglas91217
Jefferson80811
Union7715
Benton7667
Klamath7604
Morrow6517
Lincoln61315
Wasco51919
Josephine5104
Columbia4783
Coos4182
Hood River3941
Clatsop3510
Baker2723
Crook2176
Grant1341
Curry1292
Tillamook1230
Lake1171
Harney961
Wallowa713
Sherman230
Gilliam220
Wheeler30
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