LAS VEGAS, NV (KXNT) - Like the rest of the country, Las Vegas has been swept up in a wave of "panic buying" as the coronavirus slowly spreads. Clark County officials stressed again Monday that the surge of buying isn't necessary.
In a staement, the county repeated the supply chains furnishing the shelves of local grocery stores "remain robust" and there's no need for residents to empty store shelves of goods. Officials encouraged smart, strategic purchases instead.
That was the message from Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Vegas Chamber President and CEO Mary Beth Sewald and Dave Brower, vice president of risk management for Truline Corp., a local trucking and transport services company.
“The supply chains that provide Southern Nevada all of its goods remain strong,” said Chairman Kirkpatrick, who noted that 92 percent of goods are delivered by trucking companies. “There simply is no reason to clear the shelves of our local retailers. Panic shopping only induces more of the same. I’m asking everyone to be smarter about this for the good of the community.”
Residents should be strategic about their purchases and have enough food, medicine and supplies in their homes to last about 14 days. That is the average length of time that a family that comes down with coronavirus may be quarantined. To date, the health district has announced 16 cases in Clark County.
The supply chain is expected to improve further with the federal relaxation of rules for how many hours truck drivers can be on the road. Drivers are allowed 11 hours of driving time in a 14-hour day. Due to the sharp increase in demand for goods at retail outlets, drivers are spending an inordinate amount of time lined up at distribution centers, exceeding an average of six hours nationally, which has cut into the number of hours they are allowed to spend on the road hauling goods. The relaxation of federal rules will allow more flexibility while maintaining safety, officials said.
The Nevada Retail Association suggests these tips for shopping during the coronavirus outbreak:
• Make a plan of what you already have and what your family needs during a 2-week period
• Have a prepared list before you go to the store but be flexible if products are not available.
• Consider products like frozen meals and vegetables and be aware of expiration dates.
• Limit quantities to a few weeks supply to help ensure that more products are available to more customers.
• Try to avoid shopping during rush hours to reduce wait times and large crowds.
Clark County officials are continuing to monitor the coronavirus situation in coordination with state, local and federal health officials and will keep the public advised of any updates. As a result of coronavirus concerns, Clark County has implemented additional cleaning and sanitizing efforts in all our facilities. Hand sanitizer stations have been added in some areas, and signage has been posted throughout county buildings encouraging regular hand washing, good cough and sneeze etiquette, and other recommended hygiene practices to limit the spread of viruses.
The Southern Nevada Health District’s website, www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/coronavirus, is a recommended local resource for staying informed about the evolving coronavirus situation. Residents also can call the Health District’s Information Phone Line at (702) 759-INFO (4636), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.