Local pharmacies running low on respiratory masks

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With the widespread of the Coronavirus, many are heading to stores for respiratory masks. But some Texomans are having trouble finding those masks.

With the Coronavirus approaching 90,000 people infected and more than 3,000 deaths including more than five from the United States, people are heading to the store to buy masks for protection.

“In the last week, we’ve had multiple calls a day,” Pharmacist at Harvest Drug and Gift store Joe Beard said. “People coming in and asking if we have any kind of masks that they could buy.”

Beard said because the demand is so high, they aren’t able to get any and the ones they do have they are only able to use for themselves.

“Normally we’d be able to get the masks but actually right now we are not selling any because we need them to do the compounding we do,” Beard said. “Because we are handling bulk chemicals and also making sterile products sometimes. So, those things we need those masks to be able to do that.”

There are several types of respiratory masks that people are trying to buy. Now, because the demand is so high Beard said they are costing four times as much than usual. So, are these masks actually necessary?

“No,” Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Robert McBroom said. “There are a lot of people that are walking around who have been exposed and probably have had the infection who are subcritical who didn’t even know they had it and are perfectly healthy.”

Although people are continuing to look for masks, and Harvest Drug and Gift store are not selling any, Beard said it isn’t affecting business.

“It’s not something we normally sell a lot of anyways,” Beard said. “So, for us, it’s most important that we have some that we can use for our operations here because if we run out we can’t do a lot of the stuff we do.”

With the demand high but the supply low, Beard and McBroom said unless you absolutely need these masks don’t buy one so those that do need them have access to them.

McBroom also said the Coronavirus has a chance to be something serious but as of right now, it doesn’t even come close to the Influenza virus.

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