Supplies fly off store shelves after governor announces new COVID-19 restrictions

After Gov. Jay Inslee announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Sunday, people headed to local stores and supplies started flying off the shelves despite the governor cautioning against hitting the store hard and emphasizing that the supply chain remains strong.

It almost resembled what was seen in many places during the start of the pandemic.

Many might remember the long lines and the shortage of hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray and toilet paper. Now, store employees said they see the same thing after Inslee made his announcement.

“Toilet paper, paper towels are gone already,” Ballard resident Kara Hannigan told KIRO 7.

One place that saw more people than normal was the Costco in Shoreline. It filled up with crowds.

“And the line is all the way back to the bank — back there at the corner,” said Hannigan.

Washingtonians prepared by stocking up, but some were unsure of exactly what the rollbacks could mean for them.

“I think it’s just going to make it crazier than it already is,” said King County resident Kim Kreger.

“I’ve trusted the governor’s recommendations to keep us safe. And so far, we’ve been better off than a lot of places,” Hannigan said.

The governor said the new restrictions are necessary because COVID-19 cases are spiking drastically as the country heads into the holidays.

“If that’s what we need to do, then that’s what we need to do,” Hannigan said.

However, some business owners strongly disagreed.

Seattle business owner Ari Hoffman said the governor’s new restrictions are inconsistent and unfair to the stores already struggling.

“I can’t get through another shutdown like that, especially when this is our down season,” said Hoffman. “And then look at the restrictions that don’t match each other, so we are still allowed to have funerals and stuff, but you can’t have people over for Thanksgiving.”

“I think people have sort of adjusted to what the rules got changed to, but not it’s starting all over again,” Kreger said.

The Association of Washington Businesses stated this is going to be difficult for the stores that have already been struggling during the pandemic, and many people have voiced their concerns about what is going to happen to the economy.