Sanitation supplies, masks in short supply at many LI stores due to coronavirus fears

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Long Island residents are doing what they can to keep themselves safe from the coronavirus -- and that's leaving many store shelves barren.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus on Long Island to this point, but shoppers have hit cleaning supplies aisles in hoards.

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Sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizers and other disinfectants are in short supply at many stores. Store owners say those products have been extremely popular after medical professionals advised that basic flu prevention measures were a good practice for keep the coronavirus at bay.

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Though some medical experts say face masks may not completely protect you from the virus, those were sold out at stores awhile ago.

"I haven't been able to get masks for six weeks ... they were the first thing that goes," says pharmacist Ralph Ekstrand. "Once the TV news shows 1,000 people walking around China in masks, everybody comes in and asks for them. Manufacturers are back-ordered, they can't produce enough masks at this point in time for the design of supply and demand."

You can find some masks and other popular products online, but typically for inflated prices. News 12 has made calls to state consumer officials to see if they are investigating reports of price-gouging.

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