LAS CRUCES – In the checkout aisle at the Walmart Supercenter on Walton Boulevard Thursday morning, a man was purchasing a three-pack of Lysol disinfecting wipes. Another shopper — a middle-aged woman – approached him and asked where he’d found it.
“In automotive,” he replied with a smile. And off she and her shopping companions went — to the automotive section, presumably.
Elsewhere in the store, the shelves beneath a sign that read “Disinfecting Wipes” were entirely bare. In the toiletries section, near the hand soap, an employee could be heard telling two shoppers the store had run out of hand sanitizer.
At several stores around Las Cruces, hand sanitizer and other products were difficult to find. Some stores were running low on bottled water and certain dry goods, like beans and rice.
It’s a scene that has been playing out across the country in recent days, amid fears of a possible new coronavirus pandemic.
State health officials on Thursday said there is no reason New Mexicans should be excessively shopping, and no cases of COVID-19 had been discovered in the state as of Thursday afternoon.
“We understand that New Mexicans are concerned about the COVID-19 (virus),” said David Morgan, media and social media manager for the New Mexico Department of Health. “But there certainly is not any need to be doing any massive stock-up, or buying a disproportionate amount of products.”
The NMDOH on Thursday held a news conference at Las Cruces City Hall, where health officials discussed the state’s preparations for the virus.