Fear of coronavirus creating empty shelves at some Minnesota stores

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Minnesotans may notice more empty shelves while out shopping.

It appears some people are stocking up on things like hand sanitizer, tissues and non-perishable food items because of the coronavirus outbreak.

A KSTP reporter was unable to find hand sanitizer at Target, Walmart, and Costco in Burnsville.

State leaders discuss preparations for new virus, urge residents to take precautions

Some stores are also running short on disinfecting wipes.

The Minnesota Department of Health says the empty shelves is a good thing because people are preparing for the virus.

"We want to thank Minnesotans, actually, for taking these messages seriously," Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. "We’re hearing about the stores running out of cleaning supplies and soap, and that’s a high-quality problem to have in the short term."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned the spread of the virus was inevitable, noting, "It’s not so much a question of if this will happen, but rather more a question of when."