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As virus spreads, face masks sell out

The Maui News

Face masks are flying off the shelves of local hardware stores as residents seek out protection against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, that’s been spreading around the globe.

“We’re totally out, and we’re trying to order through the manufacturer,” said Shaunie Naauao, assistant manager at the Kahului Ace Hardware store, Tuesday. “Nobody’s getting back to us, not even the manufacturer because they’re so busy.”

Naauao said that people have been coming into the store and asking for the masks due to fears over the virus. She said they had masks for painting, landscaping and other activities.

“Any mask they could find, they were buying it,” she said.

Naauao said that the store ran out near the end of January, beginning of February, and that all of their other Ace Hardware stores on island — the two in town, one in Lahaina and another Upcountry — are all out.

“We tried to see if customers could go there and pick it up, but nobody had,” she said.