Masks that prevent coronavirus flying off shelves

Every day we hear a new story about the coronavirus, but over the last few days, more Americans are getting concerned now that the CDC is saying we could see more cases in the United States.

Houston is a diverse city, many of us travel across the globe. Catching coronavirus is something we don’t want to deal with. Medical experts recommend using an N95 mask. They believe this type of mask can prevent the spread of the virus. But the problem is getting your hands on them. Nearly every medical supply store and hardware store in town is sold out.

“The masks are flying off the shelves, literally. We’ve had calls from Virginia, California, Oklahoma wanting us to ship them FedEx when the word got out that we had the masks,” says Marty O’Brien, owner of Southland Hardware Store in Montrose.

His customers are limited to buy only 10 pairs of N95 masks. He tells us the demand is so high he has put in an order from a warehouse in the northern part of the country.

“Now we are out because literally when we got in at 8 a.m. they were lined up out front. I mean they were out there just waiting for us to open the doors, and it took probably 30 minutes before they just bought everything we had," he said. 

People buying the masks are either sending them overseas to loved ones, going to use them for travel, or are buying them to be on the safe side. The one thing medical experts want to stress is that only the N95 can help prevent you from contracting the virus.

“We don’t recommend using the regular surgical mask for our healthcare providers. When you come into our facility we will put a general surgical mask on you, and that just helps protect us further, the healthcare providers,” Dr. John Butler with Memorial Hermann Health System says.

If you are wanting to purchase an N95 masks call the stores to get an idea on when their shipments are coming.