Some grocery chains reinstating limits on toilet paper, paper towels amid rising COVID-19 cases

FILE - A woman carries toilet roll on the high street on March 15, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Some grocery chains are re-implementing limits on certain products, including toilet paper and paper towels, amid a surge in novel coronavirus cases across the country. 

A spokesperson for Kroger, which operates more than 2,000 locations nationwide, said the grocery chain put limits on the essential items “to ensure all customers have access to what they need this holiday season.” 

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“We’ve proactively and temporarily set purchase limits to two per customer on certain products, including bath tissue, paper towels, disinfecting wipes and hand soap,” the spokesperson added, confirming that the policy was in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Currently on Costco’s website dedicated to updates regarding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the company says it has also implemented limits on certain items.

“Our buyers and suppliers are working hard to provide essential, high demand merchandise as well as everyday favorites," the company wrote. 

Texas grocery chain H-E-B said on its website that as of Oct. 21, it had implemented limits on bath tissue, paper towels and even brisket.

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Mass closures of various stores during the onset of the pandemic in March resulted in a surge in panic buying. 

Home goods sections, where things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer was commonly found in various stores, were left completely bare as lines around the block formed to buy them in bulk. 

Hoarding of the items was so widespread that the Twitter account for Google Trends, which monitors what people are searching on Google, said that the term “how to make toilet paper,” spiked over 1,300% in April. 

In early March, Amazon appeared to be completely sold out of toilet paper, with the company stating there would be delays in deliveries for most items.

A website called "How much toilet paper," was created with the apparent aim of helping users calculate how much toilet paper they needed to “survive the pandemic,” according to the site.

The renewed limits on essentials come as the U.S. surpassed 10 million confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday amid record daily surges in new cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The nation had recorded more than 237,000 deaths from COVID-19 as of Nov. 9.