On Sunday, Governor Jay Inslee announced that there would be new restrictions in place in Washington regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local businesses like restaurants, bars, gyms, and retail stores would be directly impacted. Although Inslee's restrictions did not include a stay home order like in March, many people have been loading up on household items like toilet paper and sanitizer. A contact within the Washington Emergency Management (WEM) warns strongly against panic buying, saying "there's no need to buy excessive amounts of groceries."
Steven Friederich, public information officer for the WEM told KHQ "There's no need to panic. Our supply chains will not be obstructed by these restrictions and if people limit their purchases, there will be enough for everyone."
"We encourage you to leave some for your neighbor," said Friederich, warning that the only way there would be an issue is if people don't leave enough products for other customers.
From what we have seen during the stay home order in March, grocery stores and essential businesses were still fully operational and stocked with many of the essentials, no matter the restrictions. That is still the plan for the new restrictions set to take place on Tuesday.
Friederich said "if you already have toilet paper at home, you don't need to go buy another 5 packs. That's not necessary."
He also said to beware of false information being spread out there, specifically any information saying that grocery stores could be closing. He clarifies that is not true and there are absolutely no plans or considerations to close grocery stores in the future.
He finishes by advising people to stock away roughly 2 weeks of storable goods so that in the future, panic buying becomes less severe. He said that if people already have a handful of essential items like toilet paper put aside for situations like this, it makes it so there is less of a rush to go and purchase these items during a shutdown.