FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- If you go grocery shopping, you may notice barer shelves in paper product aisles.
The Associated Press reports 21 percent of shelves that stock these items are empty nationwide - the highest level in at least a month.
Retail stores are asking customers to not hoard toiletries in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
“I have noticed at Walmart that the supplies are dwindling down,” Fort Wayne resident Tom Fishbach said.
Fishbach says fortunately for him, he lives alone and purchases very little supplies.
“If I buy a bulk package at Sam’s Club, it’ll last me all year,” he said.
New Haven resident Melissa Peppler isn’t as lucky.
She has to worry about supplies for her whole family.
“We were at Costco last week and they had signs out that said that they didn’t have any more toilet paper and paper towels,” Peppler said.
Retail corporations have been having trouble keeping up with high demand.
Walmart announced on Tuesday that they’re limiting toilet paper and disinfectant wipe purchases to one per customer.
Peppler says she’s been preparing for this since she saw what happened when the pandemic first hit.
“We already started over the summer," she said. "Every other week I buy one paper towel or toilet paper so I wouldn't be hoarding, but at least I have a little stockpile at home.”
Health officials urge consumers against hoarding toiletries, as it creates unnecessary hysteria.
Toilet paper sales across the country are down 62 percent since the pandemic first hit.
They are currently six percent higher than they were before mid-March, but if stockpiling continues, that percentage will rise.