Box stores selling out of masks amid coronavirus concerns

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The concern surrounding COVID-19 known as the coronavirus is hitting home Tuesday night. Many Utahns are looking to protect themselves from the virus by using masks.

“Yeah, I am concerned,” said Salt Lake City’s Jennifer Hunter. “I’m not going to go into panic mode.”

Hunter plans on making a trip across the pond to Paris, France.

“I got about 30 days before we go, but going to watch things – see how things turn out,” she said.

Hunter is nervous about being on a plane because of COVID-19.

Two hot items she’s looking at are disposable surgical masks and N95 respirators. Both believed to help prevent a person from getting the virus.

ABC4 News found most big box stores won’t have the masks until March or April. The ACE Hardware near 600 East 400 South had a couple of N95 masks left. And, if you’re looking online, you may need to prepare for a higher price.

“I’ve got kids and grandkids, and a dad who has cancer – those are the people it is not healthy for,” said Hunter.

It’s a major reason why health officials are telling Americans to get ready for the COVOID-19 to hit close to home.

“They are expecting it, it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when,” she said. “So, we will defiantly be watching it closely.”

The CDC telling Americans to avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Utah Health Department officials tell us there are no cases of COVID-19 in our state as of Tuesday night.

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