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Supplies still on shelves as COVID-19 cases surge

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TUCSON - As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, should we expect supply shortages at our local grocery stores again?

During the initial wave of the pandemic, things like cleaning supplies and toilet paper products flew off the shelves as people panic-bought them preparing for a long shutdown.

After seeing record numbers of cases last week, we asked people what was it like shopping for essentials during the first wave of the pandemic.

"Oh, the last time it was empty, last time I went to so many stores and there was nothing available," said Syed Shaa, a Tucson resident.

News 4 Tucson wanted to know: Should we expect another round of stores being short on essential supplies?

So, we called 50 different grocery stores in the area to see how each one was doing on supplies.

The results? It varies, some stores had plenty of sanitizer, but were low on paper products and vice versa.

Chances are you will be able to find what you need, it just might not all be from the same store.

Locally-owned grocery stores, like McGary's on Grant and Oracle roads, have plenty of both and the owner says she hasn't seen the panic buying come back yet.

"I think it's a 50-50, some people just aren't as concerned as others, some people are very concerned," said Melissa McGary, owner of McGary's Discount Groceries.

With items much more available right now some people aren't worried at all, others chose a more proactive approach.

"It scared me last time, you know it never happened in this country before when you go in there and all the shelves were empty. So, when they filled back up, I stocked back up," said Leon Stiggle, a Tucson resident.

Below are the locations we called. All stores were asked if they have toilet paper and sanitizer in stock.

Target locations:

  • 10555 N Oracle Rd, No Toilet paper, yes for sanitizer
  • 3901 W Ina Rd, Yes for both
  • 9615 E Old Spanish Trl,  None of either, but restock everyday early 
  • 4040 N Oracle Rd, No toilet paper, yes for sanitizer

Costco locations:

  • 3901 W Costco Dr, Yes for both, but they sell out fast
  • 6255 E Grant Rd, none of either, but early in the day is the best time to buy

Walmart Neighborhood Market locations:

  • 2823 W Valencia Rd, (520)908-2556  No toilet paper, Some surface cleaner
  • 2550 S Kolb Rd, (520)329-6471 No toilet paper, Some cleaning supplies 
  • 831 E Fort Lowell Rd, (520)719-6349  Toilet paper and cleaning supplies are restocked at 4 pm
  • 5500 E 22nd St, (520)745-0267 Recommend to buy early in the day
  • 3900 W Ina Rd, (520)329-6156  Yes, items are in stock
  • 2175 W Ruthrauff Rd, (520)292-2542 Minimal amount of both
  • 2565 E Commerce Center Pl, (520)837-0750 Yes for toilet paper, no for sanitizer

Sprouts Farmers Market locations:

  • 18755 S Nogales Hwy,  (520)729-3370 Yes to both
  • 4645 E Speedway Blvd, (520)325-1320  Not a lot of toilet paper, no sanitizer 3860 W River Rd, (520)204-1787 Yes to both
  • 7665 N Oracle Rd, (520)297-5446  Yes to toilet paper, minimal cleaning supplies
  • 4282 N 1st Ave, (520)407-5132 Yes to both
  • 7887 E Broadway Blvd, (520)546-6112 Yes to both

Whole Foods Market locations:

  • 7133 N Oracle Rd, (520)352-0111 Yes to both
  • 5555 E River Rd, (520)461-1300 Yes to both
  • 3360 E Speedway Blvd, (520)795-9844 Yes to both

Trader Joe's locations:

  • 7912 N Oracle Rd, (520)797-4207 Yes to both
  • 4209 N Campbell Ave, (520)325-0069 Yes to both
  • 4766 E Grant Rd, (520)323-4500 Yes to both
  • 1101 N Wilmot Rd Ste 147, (520)733-1313 Yes to both

Fry's locations:

  • 15950 S Rancho Sahuarita Blvd, (520)648-7700
    • Some toilet paper and some sanitation
  • 10450 N La Canada Dr, (520) 877-9207
    • Toilet paper and sanitation
  • 1795 W Valencia Rd, (602)442-9011
    • Two different toilet paper small packs 
    • No cleaning supplies 
  • 8080 S Houghton Rd, (520)663-1960
    • Yes toilet paper 
    • Yes cleaning 
  • 4036 N 1st Ave, (520)293-8892
    • Little bit of everything 
    • You can only buy 2
  • 7050 E 22nd St, (520)790-5845
    • Yes to both
  • 3640 S 16th Ave, (520)624-6934
    • There is a limit you can only buy one
    • In stock 
  • 7812 E Speedway Blvd, (520)885-9416
    • 7 or 8 small packs of tp 
    • No cleaning supplies 

Food City locations:

  • 719 E Fort Lowell Rd, (520)293-3256
    • Permanently Closed 
  • 3923 N Flowing Wells Rd, (520)887-1343
    • Limit of 2 but it’s there 
  • 1225 W Saint Marys Rd, (520)792-3494
    • Limit to two but it’s in stock 
  • 1221 W Irvington Rd, (520)434-6920
    • Yes to both

Albertson locations: 

  • 2854 N Campbell Ave, In Campbell Plaza (520)321-1212: Had everything but with 2 per person on toilet paper
  • 6600 E Grant Rd, (520)885- 6109: A lot of hand sanitizer but toilet paper with limit of 2 per person; said it was going out fast
  • 7300 N La Cholla Blvd, (520)575-0993: Has very little on shelf with 2 per person limit and has hand sanitizer; no disinfecting spray
  • 9595 E Broadway Blvd, (520)751-7699: Almost out of toilet paper with 2 per person limit (going quick) and not sure about hand sanitizer; no disinfecting spray

Safeway locations:

  • 260 W Continental Rd, (520)625-7283: Has toilet paper and hand sanitizer with 2 per person limit for each but no disinfecting spray
  • 1305 W Duval Mine Rd, (520)648-2847: Has toilet paper and hand sanitizer but disinfecting spray (was gone as soon as it hit the shelf); limit of two total with everything
  • 9050 E Valencia Rd, (520)663-0009: Has everything but has limit of 2 per person on each one.
  • 9460 E Golf Links Rd, (520)296-0042: Has hand sanitizer and toilet paper but with 2 per person limit; no disinfecting spray
  • 1551 W Saint Marys Rd, (520)624-8442: Has toilet paper and hand sanitizer with 2 per person limit; no disinfecting spray
  • 7177 E Tanque Verde Rd, (520)731-0117: Doesn't have a lot of toilet paper, very few hand sanitizers, no disinfecting spray; 2 per person limit
  • 9705 N Thornydale Rd, (520)579-1083: Closed for good 
  • 12122 N Rancho Vistoso Blvd, (520)297-4344: Has some toilet paper, has hand sanitizer, and no disinfecting spray; 1 per person limit
  • 4752 E Sunrise Dr, (520)299-3534: Has very little toilet paper, has hand sanitizer, no disinfecting spray; 2 per person limit

These calls were made the week of Nov. 16. Call your local store to confirm.

Author Profile Photo

Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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