Coronavirus Panic Grips California As Shoppers Stock Up On Supplies

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Panic grips the West Coast and coronavirus hotpsot California, with anxious shoppers stocking up on bottled water, canned food and Clorox wipes after first US disease death

Panic is setting in for residents on the West Coast as California becomes a coronavirus hotspot, Washington state reports the first death from the virus and Oregon officials announce that an elementary school employee has tested positive for the disease.

Anxious shoppers descended on California supermarkets, stocking up on supplies like bottled water, canned food and Clorox wipes.

The state has become a coronavirus hotspot, with more than half a dozen residents diagnosed with the disease in recent days.

Late last week, two Northern California residents were revealed to be confirmed cases despite having no known contact with anyone else who was infected.

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Anxious shoppers have descended on California supermarkets, stocking up on supplies as Coronavirus panic grips the West Coast. Pictured: a Los Angeles resident leaving a Burbank Costco with a cart full of toilet paper, bottled water and cleaning products

One Twitter user posted a photo showing pure pandemonium inside a San Francisco store

In Seattle, some shelves were emptied completely as residents rushed to stock up on supplies on Saturday

State officials say they are bracing for similar cases of people contracting the disease from an ‘unknown origin’ and nervous locals are taking no chances.

At a Costco Wholesale market in Los Angeles Saturday morning, a swarm of shoppers loaded up carts with essential items to prepare for a possible period of quarantine.

According to the chain, water, paper towels and Clorox disinfecting wipes were the most in-demand products.

Meanwhile, cars queued at the adjoining gas station, making sure their vehicles were filled with petrol.

On social media, residents further north shared shocking photos and videos from Costco centers in San Francisco.

Shelves were depleted of tinned food, while some shoppers climbed up onto shelving in order to reach remaining supplies of rice.

It comes on the same day that Santa Clara County – located close to San Francisco – confirmed a fourth person had tested positive to Coronavirus.

Shoppers with empty carts waited patiently in line to enter a Los Angeles Costco to stock up on Saturday

Some Twitter users described the shopping chaos as worse than Black Friday, as residents climbed up on to shelves to reach depleting supplies

Costco Wholesale market in Burbank was bustling on Saturday, despite no residents of Los Angeles County having been diagnosed with coronavirus

It was a family affair for these shoppers who left the supermarket with two carts full of supplies. Water, paper towels and Clorox disinfecting wipes were the most in-demand products of the day

One Los Angeles local used a trolley to push their sanitary items and bottled water to their car

Residents waited in long lines to pump their vehicles with gas, amid fears daily life will be severely disrupted by the spread of coronavirus

There were similar scenes in Mountain View, California, where vigilant shoppers wore face masks as they stocked up on supplies.

A ‘medically high-risk’ man in his 50s became the first person in the US to die from coronavirus on Friday near Seattle, Washington.

Fears are now mounting for 50 staff and residents at a nursing facility in Washington state as they are now showing symptoms of the virus, after two individuals – a resident and an employee at the care home – have already been diagnosed with the infection.

Fifty-two staff and residents of the nursing facility where two new coronavirus cases have been confirmed are now showing symptoms of the disease, health officials said during a teleconference with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At the Life Care nursing facility in Kirkland, Washington state, around 27 of the 108 residents and 25 of the 180 staff have some symptoms, including some cases where individuals have contracted pneumonia.

The CDC and local health officials are reportedly sending an emergency response team to the Life Care facility on Sunday to try to control the escalating situation.

In Oregon, officials reported their first coronavirus case on Friday. The infected person works at an elementary school in the Portland area, which will be temporarily closed, authorities said.

‘The case was not a person under monitoring or a person under investigation. The individual had neither a history of travel to a country where the virus was circulating, nor is believed to have had a close contact with another confirmed case — the two most common sources of exposure,’ the Oregon Health Authority said in a statement.

The Lake Oswego School District sent a robocall to parents saying that Forest Hills Elementary will be closed until Wednesday so it can be deep-cleaned by maintenance workers.

Health authorities planned to spend the weekend scrambling to find everyone the unidentified person, who has been hospitalized, had been in contact with.

Hours before the case emerged, the state ramped up efforts to combat an outbreak amid potential challenges, including closing schools, businesses and events, and sustained shortages of medical supplies.

‘State and local authorities are responding quickly to this case,’ Oregon Gov Kate Brown said during a news conference. Brown urged people not to panic.

Two other cases were confirmed late Saturday night, making the total number of Americans diagnosed with the virus 71 and counting

Two other cases were confirmed late Saturday night, making the total number of Americans diagnosed with the virus 71 and counting.

The majority were people who were evacuated to the US under medical supervision from virus hotspots, including three from Wuhan and 44 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department confirmed its fourth case is an adult woman who is the second ‘unknown origin’ case in the US.

The fourth person does not have symptoms and has not been hospitalized, officials said.

Officials in Illinois confirmed the state’s third case, which is being treated as another ‘unknown origin’ case.

Despite frantic buying, President Donald Trump urged for the public to remain calm during a press conference on Saturday.

He told the media not to sensationalize the outbreak and provoke panic.

‘There’s no reason to panic at all,’ he said.

‘Additional cases in the United States are likely, but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover.

‘Healthy people — if you’re healthy, you’ll probably go through a process and you’ll be fine.’

At the press conference, Vice President Pence also announced new emergency travel restrictions on Iran, Italy, and South Korea, which have been hit by outbreaks.

Clorox wipes were one of the most popular items on Saturday, with residents ready to wipe down surfaces to stop a possible spread of coronavirus

Any foreign national who has visited Iran in the past 14 days will be banned from entering the US, Pence said.

He also said that Trump has authorized the State Department to raise the travel advisory level to outbreak areas in Italy and South Korea to Level Four, the highest level.

Level Four advisories urge Americans not to travel to an area for any reason, though they do not legally forbid travel.

Worldwide, the outbreak that began in Wuhan, China has sickened more than 86,000 people and killed more than 2,900 in 54 countries.

Health experts say that the coronavirus has a low mortality rate, resulting in death in about 2 to 3 per cent of cases, the majority of which are elderly patients or those with compromised immune systems.

However, it appears to be highly contagious, spreading quickly through communities.

Experts say frequent hand washing is one of the most effective preventative steps that individuals can take to prevent viral spread.

Along with items such as bottled water and Clorox, one man purchased pasta, cereal, veggie crisps and bread

Trunks laden down with bottled water and toilet tissue was a familiar sight across the Costco parking lot

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