La Crosse health officials say to not rush out and stock supplies amid coronavirus pandemic

Local retailers are rapidly running out of toilet paper

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Local health officials say there’s no need to rush out and stock up on supplies, but it is a good idea to have some necessary items on hand.

Right now, toilet paper is flying off the shelves at local retailers.

“I hear a lot about toilet paper in particular and I’m confused by it to be honest,” La Crosse County Health Department director Jen Rombalski said.

Rombalski says using toilet paper doesn’t relate to symptoms of the coronavirus.

“Someone who’s sick expels the virus when they cough or sneeze,” Rombalski said. “None of that, including the typical symptoms with COVID-19, have anything to do with vomiting, diarrhea.”

Instead, she recommends folks have enough food for two weeks, including canned and frozen foods.

“If you’re gonna purchase vegetables and fruits, which we always encourage, just know those aren’t going to last the full two-week time period,” Rombalski said.

Officials at Gundersen Health System say do not hurry to refill your prescribed medications.

“It’s okay to have a two-week supply on hand,” Gundersen pharmacy clinical manager Marc Ertz said. “Most prescriptions, it’ll carry you through June if you have a refill. But there’s no reason to hurry out and have everything filled.”

Ertz says Gundersen has not been overwhelmed yet.

“So far, everybody’s been very professional,” Ertz said. “People aren’t rushing in to get refills.”

After all, cooperation is most important.

“Just remember, we’re all in this together, and we need to think about that when we’re making decisions,” Rombalski said.

National health experts recommend you buy other food items including pasta, crackers, and even dark chocolate because they can last for several weeks.

As the pandemic continues, the Department of Homeland Security also recommends you get plenty of sleep and exercise to stay healthy.