Spread of COVID-19 leading to crowds at grocery stores

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MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — The spread of COVID-19 through Alabama is leading to crowds at grocery stores, creating challenges for both store owners and customers alike.

Andrew Virciglio’s family owns different Piggly Wiggly stores in the Birmingham area. Virciglio said the rush started about the middle of last week with customers coming in to buy two to three weeks’ worth of groceries. He said the stores had prepared by ordering extra supplies for some products, but even those ran out quickly.

“It happened so quickly we weren’t prepared for it as far as what we had in the back right off the bat,” Virciglio said. “And we’ve been trying to replenish as much as we can and ordering as much as we can since then every day.”

Meanwhile, customers also are feeling the pressure to stock up on supplies. Amber Etheridge was shopping for her mother, who has preexisting condition, when she realized she may need to go ahead and buy other supplies.

“Like Wednesday, everything was here. Thursday, everything was gone,” she said. “I was just like, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I’m just out here shopping, so I got her (supplies) to last if we got quarantined.”


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