Grand County stores run low on disinfectant, hand sanitizer amid fears over coronavirus
Certain shelves are barren at supermarkets and hardware stores across Grand County as concern around the new coronavirus grows.
Shops are trying their best to keep up with the skyrocketing demand while fears about COVID-19 intensify, but products like hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are running low, if not entirely gone, across the county.
While a suspected case of the disease in Grand County came back negative on Friday, folks in the community are apparently still trying to protect themselves from exposure.
To prevent the spread of the respiratory illness, health officials are asking the public to wash their hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, people can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Finding some may be difficult, though. As of Friday afternoon, Ace Hardware and City Market in Granby were both out.
“You’re the 10th person to ask me that in the last hour,” one employee said of hand sanitizer. That included the small travel bottles as well.
Though some people may find it tempting to use other or stronger chemical solutions, experts say soap remains the best option and works as well as hand sanitizer. It’s important to remember that while chemical disinfectants can kill the coronavirus on surfaces, they are not effective and potentially harmful on human skin.
City Market, Dollar General and Ace in Granby still had disinfecting wipes for hard surfaces on Friday, but those shelves were quickly emptying.
Some of the rush for these cleaning products might be over concerns about the virus spreading through a resort community. On the Grand County Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook page, a number of people blamed the suspected case of the coronavirus on spring break skiers.
“Thank you spring break for bringing it here,” one person wrote. “Great.”
Others felt that the fear around the virus has been exaggerated and said it was unfair to blame tourists without more details.
According to representatives at Winter Park Resort, no specific risk has been identified at the resort, though they are aware of the two reported cases in Colorado, including one person who contracted the virus and went skiing at Keystone and Vail resorts.
“We are taking necessary precautions and are advising staff and guests to follow CDC preventative actions for typical flu season,” said a statement issued by Winter Park. “Winter Park Resort, our mountain, our town and all services remain open and are fully operating, and people can continue to visit Winter Park for a pure and unspoiled mountain vacation.”
However, some locals are still encouraging isolation from the mountains, likely for reasons other than health concerns.
“Winter Park is quarantined too,” one commenter posted on the Sky-Hi News Facebook page with a winky face. “Don’t risk your own health. Stay in Denver!”
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COVID-19 deaths in Grand County have reached double digits with three more in the last seven days.