SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Smart shoppers are avoiding the massive crowds and wiped out shelves at the biggest stores in their cities, and stopping in to the neighborhood markets to find what they need during the current wave of virus concerns.
Foodland on Santa Barbara's Westside has seen brisk sales but has many of the products other stores can't get this week.
That includes hand wipes, toilet paper, bottled water, and soap products.
Grocery manager Tino Guzman was nearly stocking shelves and planning his next order when NewsChannel Three visited. He says some customers have made large purchases but others are only getting what they need so there's something left for their neighbors.
This is as local as a store can get, with no immediate major market within walking distance.
Guzman says when one customer said she had come from Costco and CVS where some items were no longer available, he took her right to his shelves and she was thankful.
Some stores are now posting signs limited quantities of purchase.
"We try to our best to comply to their requests, we will go all out," he says.
One suggestion he makes is to use a plastic spray bottles with concentrated cleaners, add water and make a large supply of an antibacterial cleaner.
He admits, the shelves are thinning out.
Guzman says to find replacement supplies "hasn't been that easy, no."
The cases of water the store orders regularly usually lasts two weeks. It is now going at twice the rate.
Bar soap here is fully stocked and a solid part of a defense plan for viruses.
For now that is now a worry.
And if they are out "I will make some recommendations where else they can go to find it," said Guzman.
For more health information go to : Coronavirus COVID-19