WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) -- Coronavirus concerns have many people looking for ways to protect themselves and their families.

In fact, many local store shelves have been cleared of hand soap, hand sanitizer, and face masks.

On Tuesday, some shoppers were surprised to see the items sold out.

“A little bit. I wasn't expecting that. Yeah, I guess people want to protect,” said Rafael Souza, of Massachusetts.

At three large retailers on Tuesday – CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart, all were sold out of hand sanitizer. Some stores even posted signs telling shoppers they were sold out.

Sales were already high because of the flu season, and now coronavirus fears are creating shortages.

Regarding the face masks, health officials are telling consumers not to buy them, out of fear there won’t be enough for emergency workers if the spread becomes severe.

Surgeon General Vice Admiral Jerome Adams stopped in Connecticut on Monday and commented on face masks, urging folks to not buy them as well.

On Sunday, Adams took to Twitter telling folks to stop buying face masks, saying they're not effective in preventing the general public from catching coronavirus. He went on to say "but if healthcare providers can't get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk."

RELATED: Gov. Lamont, Surgeon General tour state lab after coronavirus testing clearance

Monday, he went on to emphasize the importance for the general public to continue to take precautions, like washing hands, avoiding contact with other people.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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