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As COVID-19 cases surge across the nation and the United States hit 400,000 COVD-19 related deaths, many states and cities are adding new restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. President Joe Biden also enacted a mask mandate and social distancing on federal property. That, coupled with winter weather in certain areas, people are buying certain household items again, making them harder to find.
While there is no need to panic buy or hoard anything, there are some essential items you should always have on hand. At the beginning of the pandemic, many household essentials were nearly impossible to find due to hoarding and supply chains unable to meet demand. According to Joe Vernon, Supply Chain Analytics and Transformation Practice Leader at the consulting firm Capgemini, these supply chains are at their max capacity.
"It’s really just a matter of the consumer not hoarding and unfortunately, there’s nothing any of us can do about that," he said. "Stores have done some stockpiling and consumers have already started to stockpile. Though stores are now putting up limits [on what individuals can buy]."
Here are six items that are already selling out as COVID-19 cases rise and where you can still get them.
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1. Toilet paper
Toilet paper was one of the most sought-after products at the beginning of the pandemic and is once again becoming hard to find as cases rise across the country. As Vernon explains, the paper supply chain is an efficient supply chain, meaning they won't make more than is typically needed. Basically, what you see is what you get.
2. Disinfecting wipes and spray
Cleaning wipes and spray are still one of those items that are hard to find. Vernon says Clorox is at its max production and it's been reported that Clorox wipes could continue to be low in supply well into 2021. While you may not be able to find the brand of disinfecting products you're looking for, there are still some others on the market, with many stores limiting distribution to reduce the risk of a shortage.
3. Paper towels
Paper towels are another household essential that you're going to want to make sure you have at home, especially because they were harder to find earlier this year. Like Vernon said earlier, paper products are at max production capacity. Not only are paper towels great for wiping up spills and drying hands, but they're essential for disinfecting surfaces from the coronavirus as you can dispose of them immediately, so get an extra pack, if you can.
4. Trash bags
Another item that was hard to find at the beginning of the pandemic was trash bags. Not only are they essential for removing your household waste, but the CDC recommends having a designated lined trashcan if someone gets sick with the coronavirus. That way you can keep it separate and quickly dispose of anything that could have been in contact with the virus, so make sure you have enough in stock right now. The Glad ForceFlexPlus bags are the best trash bags we’ve ever tested because of their superior strength and odor-blocking material.
Last year, if you told me snowshoes were going to be hard to find, I wouldn't have believed you. This typically less popular winter activity has exploded this season as people seek something to do so they're not stuck inside all day. It's a much cheaper outdoor activity for those not planning on skiing or snowboarding. Now, with the low production of snowshoes, they're nearly impossible to find and are currently low in stock at outdoor retailers like REI. However, you can still find them at select retailers—just be sure to act fast.
6. Air purifiers
Between claims of filtering COVID-19 particles to reducing the amount of wildfire smoke in the home, air purifiers have sold out a few times this year and are still quite popular as people are trying to make their homes more comfortable. Look for an air purifier with HEPA filters like our best-tested ones from Dyson and Winix, which have previously been unavailable in the past few months, but are currently in stock.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 6 things starting to sell out again as COVID-19 cases rise: toilet paper, cleaning wipes, air purifiers