Surgical mask sales skyrocket, leaving behind shortage for healthcare workers amid coronavirus threat

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Health officials are urgently warning the community of an issue regarding the coronavirus.

They’re asking you to stop buying surgical masks because they said they’re not effective in preventing the spread of the virus. On top of that, it’s causing a huge issue for people working in healthcare.

Margaret Nottingham walked away with a rare find at a Michigan pharmacy- the last of the sanitizing wipes they had in stock.

She just made the long trek to Spartanburg. But before she hopped on a plane, she wanted to stock up on supplies.

“I thought it would be a good idea to have a surgical mask just as a reminder not to touch my face,” said Margaret Nottingham, who is visiting Spartanburg from Michigan.

However, she didn’t have much luck finding one at a pharmacy. In fact, they were all sold out. And if you take a look online, not all of them come cheap.

Now, the U.S. Surgeon General is urging you to keep that money in your wallet, saying the masks don’t prevent the coronavirus. Adding that it’s causing a shortage for medical professionals who really need them.

“We are one of the most populations at risk right now for the coronavirus. So if we don’t have anything to protect us even from the flu virus and things like that because all the masks are selling out, then we’re really facing problems,” said Family Nurse Practitioner, Michelle Starks.

It’s something Spartanburg family nurse practitioner, Michelle Starks is seeing firsthand. She said since people in the general public started buying up all the surgical masks, their supplier is running out.

As you have probably already heard, health officials told us the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to wash your hands and stay home if you’re feeling sick.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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