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Coronavirus Stockpiling Is Not Necessary Says Ottawas Public Health

Put down the canned goods and the toilet paper. As cases of COVID-19 continue to be diagnosed across Canada, Ottawa’s public health service is urging people to stop "stockpiling" essential goods. Their advice comes as stores across the country have sold out of basic supplies, and as reports of coronavirus stockpiling continue to cause concern. 

While the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada reached 33 on Tuesday night, the capital city’s health department is encouraging people not to panic.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning in response to the news that Canadians are clearing out Costco stores, Ottawa Public Health urged residents to refrain from drastic action.

They wrote, “In light of recent news stories, let's be very clear: you don't need to rush and "stockpile" supplies.”

This comes only days after the health board released a list of ways to be prepared for a possible coronavirus pandemic. Advice included stocking up on non-perishable foods, and not waiting to fill any essential prescriptions.

However, their latest message explained, “The goal is to be prepared. The next time you're at the store, pick up extra supplies. Do it gradually.”

“There's no rush, and no need to panic,” it concluded.

Last weekend, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) released a statement of advice for anybody concerned about a novel coronavirus outbreak in the city. 

Tips included washing hands regularly, not touching your face, and being “prepared for two weeks should you become ill.”

While their advice does suggest having an adequate supply of food, cleaning products and medicine, OPH is encouraging people not to panic and to avoid going overboard.

Their latest notice follows a surge in stockpiling supplies across Canada, where some local stores have been left almost bare.

While there is yet to be a confirmed case of the virus in Ottawa, the city’s medical officer of health told reporters on Monday that it’s “just a matter of time” until the virus arrives in the capital.

She compared preparing for an outbreak to preparing for a storm, noting that locals should take appropriate caution, but continue with their day-to-day lives.

"We say all the time, you need to be prepared for a winter storm, you need to be prepared for a power outage, and it's the same idea. People don't always take that step of making sure their cupboards aren't bare, right?"

You can keep up-to-date with all of the most recent novel coronavirus updates in Ottawa by checking out OPH's dedicated website.

*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.

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