Ontario government asks people to practice normal grocery buying habits

COVID-19 scare has sparked panic buying at grocery stores

Enough with the panic buying.

A finger wag from the Ontario government on Saturday afternoon after a spike in COVID-19 cases in the province has triggered rounds of panic buying at grocery stores.

At Costco in Barrie on Friday, there was a line up outside the door. Other pictures posted to social media at various locations showed store shelves emptied of toilet paper and bottled water.

Grocery store in Barrie, Friday March 13, 2020

Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs issued a statement in response to the panic buying and COVID-19 in Ontario.

“The health and well-being of the people of Ontario is our government’s number one priority. Ontarians can be confident that our food supply is robust and that our distribution system will continue to operate and remain responsive to the needs of Ontarians. Rest assured, we have plenty of food that will continue to reach grocery stores on a regular basis.”

Our food supply chain is one of the strongest in the world and our government remains committed to ensuring Ontarians can access healthy and nutritious Ontario-based foods.

Please practice normal grocery buying habits and rest assured that our grocery production and supply chain will continue to provide Ontarians with the food we enjoy each and every day.”

The panic buying has not been confined only to Ontario.

The first announced presumptive case of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan on Thursday prompted panic buying. Several box stores in Saskatoon reported running out of toilet paper and other stores had shelves emptied of disinfectant sprays, bleach and wipes.