It's been a busy week for staff at Costco Canada. As novel coronavirus fears continue to grow, more and more Canadians are heading to the store to stockpile supplies. With products like sanitizer and canned goods in high demand, people are taking to social media to share pictures of their local supermarkets, some of which have completely empty shelves.
As Canada's total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 24 last week, people from across the country have been heading to their nearest Costco to stock up on essential goods.
As Vancouverites bought out local supplies of black beans and spam, sanitation products like Lysol disinfectant and toilet paper have also been in short supply.
Similar scenes have been found across the country, as Costco stores in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec have also reportedly been busier than ever.
Images online show empty shelves and significant queues, and employees are even disinfecting shopping carts after use.
According to one Twitter user, people in Costco stores in the GTA were "Prepping like it's the zombie apocalypse."
Something we don’t know @costcocanada ? #yvr #CoronvirusCanada https://t.co/5U1XvtTQlZ— PhilQ™ 😷#WearMask #WashHands #BackOff😷🔥#NoCCP🔥 (@PhilQ™ 😷#WearMask #WashHands #BackOff😷🔥#NoCCP🔥) 1583029687.0
@homsiT @AdamSinger @CarnivoreMD Lol then you haven’t seen what the Costco’s looked like this weekend in the greate… https://t.co/3DytH9RrSn— Stephen Zungi (@Stephen Zungi) 1583123819.0
Across the country, Canadians have been sharing images of their local Costco stores and their very empty shelves.
One Canadian Twitter user tagged the company in their post, asking, "Something we don't know, Costco Canada?"
Lesson for others get your emergency kit preparedness supplies well before something like this causes a run on stuf… https://t.co/8zms21DZ9q— David Chen, concerned citizen 陳冠余 (@David Chen, concerned citizen 陳冠余) 1583086124.0
@chrismartenson Greetings from the Burlington, On Canada Costco. https://t.co/EwDbPdrCOY— Brian (@Brian) 1583076424.0
went to costco today and bought my supplies i am ready for the quarantine!!! #Canada #coronavirus #COVID2019 https://t.co/f85zaZy3K6— Yoland Gingras🍺🚜 (@Yoland Gingras🍺🚜) 1583008389.0
At the weekend, Ottawa Public Health released a list of items that concerned locals should be buying in bulk. It included medicine, cleaning products and non-perishable food.
It seems their advice has been taken, as one local reported, "Hottest items today, toilet paper, paper towels, water and gloves."
Another shared an image of their huge Costco haul, which featured food, canned goods, bleach, bottled water and shampoo. He added, "I am ready for the quarantine!"
@yyzsportsmedia @Costco I was at Costco today in Ottawa and there was a lineup to get into the store, the staff was… https://t.co/DFazaB2PCp— Amj1634 (@Amj1634) 1583103218.0
@DavidChenTweets @costco #COVID19 don’t be fooled by early morning lines at #costco they were slow to open because… https://t.co/RjJ4R0iLwf— Dave Maik (@Dave Maik) 1583107203.0
Kudos to @costcocanada’s Leaside location for having this person disinfection each cart as they come in. One outs… https://t.co/glQbFZRRJT— Taylor Mann (@Taylor Mann) 1583085477.0
It seems that staff at some Costco Quebec locations are also taking precautions, and have been seen sanitizing all shopping carts after use, as you can see on the featured video.
One social media user explained, "Kudos to Costco Leaside for having this person disinfect each cart as they come in."
While another shared a similar message, "I was at Costco in Ottawa today and there was a lineup to get into the store, the staff was wiping down the handle of each shopping cart as you entered."
#coronavirus food PAanic - what are you stocking up on? #Vancouver hanging out in #NorthVan at #superstore and… https://t.co/B6uR22K80s— Shawn Sviridov (@Shawn Sviridov) 1583117545.0
I was in the neighborhood so I decided to pop in at the Burnaby @costcocanada panacea seems to have created a dooms… https://t.co/jv7LC3Y0BX— Elizabeth Mazzei (@Elizabeth Mazzei) 1583002700.0
This comes as Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu, advised stocking up on supplies in the event of an emergency.
"It's really about, first of all, making sure that you do have enough supplies so if someone in your family becomes ill, if you yourself become ill, that you have what you need to survive for a week or so without going outside,” Hajdu said last week.
Narcity has reached out to Costco Canada for comment, this article will be updated when a response has been received.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.