Long lineups and empty shelves are being reported at some grocery stores in Toronto, as people stock up on supplies amid fears over the spread of COVID-19.
Staff at the Metro at Front and Church streets said a rush of customers on Thursday afternoon left them out of just about everything from bananas, rice and cucumbers to pasta sauce and toilet paper.
No mini cucumbers, fresh broccoli or bananas on the shelves at this Metro at Front and Church after a rush of grocery shoppers fuelled by COVID-19 fears. pic.twitter.com/m7vHON5n92
— Kevin Misener (@Misener680NEWS) March 13, 2020
Hot ticket items at the Metro at Front & Church: pasta and sauce. Shelves empty for now after last night’s stocking frenzy, but more being re-shelved as we speak. @BTtoronto pic.twitter.com/KZ3b1eApRM
— Tammie Sutherland (@citytammie) March 13, 2020
On Thursday, photos showed shoppers lining up outside the store’s doors at Lansdowne Avenue and Dundas Street, waiting to get inside.
There were also reports that Toronto police officers were on the scene.
Dr. Eileen De Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, addressed concerns over people heading to stock up on supplies in a press conference on Thursday.
“What I would suggest is that now is a good time to reflect on ‘What are the daily needs of your household?’ and ‘How would you manage those needs in the event that you or someone in your household were to fall ill?’ so it’s that kind of preparation activity,” she said.
The Walmart at St. Clair and Runnymede report one-hour lineups and empty shelves. Workers there on Thursday said toilet paper will be restocked in two days and it is currently sold out.
The Superstore along Weston Road is actually limiting toilet paper to two packs per family and a lineup was report at Fiesta Farms on Christie, just north of Bloor Street.
An influx of closures and suspensions of events, including the shuttering of all Ontario public schools for two weeks after March Break, were announced on Thursday.
— Michelle Mackey (@michellemackey) March 12, 2020