Local drug stores out of face masks after potential case of coronavirus detected

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX)- Medical supply stores around the Brazos Valley are experiencing a medical mask shortage after a possible case of the coronavirus was detected in Brazos County, Thursday.

Health officials say that a Texas A&M student showed up to a local hospital Wednesday night with symptoms of an upper respiratory virus.

Due to the student's recent travel to Wuhan, China, along with his symptoms, doctors sent a sample to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.

The sample from the student has not been confirmed, but local medical supply stores and drug stores say they are completely out of medical masks.

Genese Smith works at MediCare Equipment in Bryan and says they normally stock about 50 masks at all times. She says yesterday, they were hit hard when multiple people came in looking to buy them.

“Within about 30 minutes of word getting out, we started getting phone calls asking if we have the masks, what kind of masks did we have, and how many we had available,” said Smith. “Quite a few people started coming in, asking, and purchasing.”

Smith says they have already placed an order for more masks. Drug stores, along with the Texas A&M Health Services Department say they ran out quickly, and are waiting on shipments of more masks.

Brazos County health officials expect to have the results of the coronavirus test back in the next few days.