Out of stock in Anchorage: Face masks, hand sanitizer


Medical anti-viral masks have been out of stock in Anchorage pharmacies for three weeks. But overnight, the supply of hand-sanitizer gel in Anchorage has vanished from local shelves.

A survey of five chain stores in Anchorage came up with just one 2-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. Store clerks said that over the past 24 hours their hand sanitizer inventory has been wiped out. They did not know when they were going to get more of the alcohol-based gel. Several drug stores still have a good supply of straight rubbing alcohol, however.

Several shoppers on Thursday were stocking up on sanitizers at the Dimond Blvd. Costco. By Friday morning, the half-gallon hand sanitizers were sold out.

The disappearance of the hand sanitizer product may be a result of a worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, a particularly infectious flu-like illness that was first identified in Wuhan, China.

Some hand sanitizer products are still available online at Amazon, but supplies appear low, and notifications that the product can’t be shipped to Alaska are common, due to the ethanol or alcohol content, a shipping hazard.

One of the side benefits to Alaskans becoming more vigilant about the potential arrival of the virus in the state is that the level of regular influenza is dropping:


  1. According to the CDC, as of Friday February 28th there have been 15 confirmed case nationwide. This obviously does not count the 47 repatriated Americans who were put in quarantine upon their return from China and the Princess cruise ship.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html from the risk assessment section on the CDC website “individual risk is dependent on exposure. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
    While we should all take the appropriate precautions for cold and flu season, at this point if you are more worried about Covid-19 you are worried about the wrong disease. The common flu killed an estimated 12,000-61,000 people per year over the last decade.
    Wash your hands, stop licking door knobs, don’t share pens, wash your hands, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, and wash your hands again.
    This is something to be aware of, not something to panic over, there are 15 confirmed cases in a country of more than 300,000,000.

      • Big difference in reported and confirmed. I would also suggest that 65 isn’t “many more cases” than 15, but a few more, especially when we are talking about a population of more than 300,000,000.

    • I would say that being 0.0000046875% of the population isn’t statistically different from being 0.0000203125% of the population. To use the description of “many more cases” isn’t correct, there are a few more cases.

    • Nayem,

      From what I can tell the number 65 that you’ve come up with is a combination of the 15 confirmed case nationwide and the 47 repatriated Americans who were put in quarantine upon their return from China and the Princess cruise ship along with 3 others that are being reported but as of yesterday the CDC hasn’t counted.
      The update today from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html shows 7 more presumptive positive test for a total of 22 presumptive and confirmed positive cases nationwide.

  2. Ya’ll need to put your phones down and maybe read a book with you kids or go out for a walk. I know nobody does this anymore, but Jesus people this isn’t th end of the world.

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