Charlotte pharmacist says demand for masks has been high amid coronavirus outbreak

Charlotte pharmacist says demand for masks has been high amid coronavirus outbreak

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte pharmacy sold its last box of medical masks Wednesday and is now waiting for another shipment of the masks to come in.

Dr. Martez Prince, owner and head pharmacist at Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center in east Charlotte, said the masks have been in high demand due to fears of the coronavirus spreading.

Prince said he’s noticed more people coming to the pharmacy to buy the masks over the last month and a half.

“Everyone’s coming in a frenzy. They’re looking for masks which are not readily available right now due to the craze that everyone feels that they need a mask,” explained the pharmacist in an interview with WBTV Wednesday night.

While people have been spotted wearing the masks in countries around the world, Prince said he doesn’t think Americans need to be buying the masks.

“It’s not necessary. It doesn’t harm to protect yourself or put that extra layer of protection between you and the coronavirus,” said the pharmacist.

Prince said his pharmacy orders the masks from a wholesaler. He said the item is currently in high demand because of the coronavirus outbreaks across the world. He said he hopes to get more masks by the end of the week.

Officials have said there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Carolinas. State health leaders from North Carolina spoke to reporters about the virus Wednesday.

“Currently we still consider the risk to North Carolinians as very low, however, we want to be forward thinking and as prepared in planning as possible,” said Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, the chief medical officer for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence addressed the nation regarding the virus Wednesday night. Pence noted that the Trump Administration has already taken steps to get out in front of the coronavirus outbreak. He elaborated that travel restrictions have been put in place and traveling American citizens possibly infected by the coronavirus have been quarantined after returning home.

The President spoke about the possibility of the virus spreading in the United States.

“I don’t think it’s inevitable. It probably will. It possible will. It could be at a very small level or it could be at a larger level. Whatever happens, we’re totally prepared. We have the best people in the world,” said Trump.

Dr. Prince said there are some easy ways all people can help prevent the spreading of the sickness.

“If you are feeling under the weather, stay home, don’t expose others to that virus you know,” said Prince. “Basically if everyone stayed home when they were sick, we can go out in public without masks and we could be safe from the coronavirus and the flu virus.”

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