N95 face masks are now completely sold out in Toronto after coronavirus fears grow
In the wake of news that two cases of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Toronto, stores across the city have run out of N95 respirator masks.
N95 face masks, which cover the face and protect you from breathing in dangerous particles, have been flying off the shelves.
Though Ontario's chief medical officer Dr. David Williams has reiterated that Canadians' chance of catching coronovirus is low, Torontonians are erring on the side of caution.
Since last week, everyone from home improvement stores to Rexalls and Shoppers Drug Marts have been reporting an exponential increase of sales in these masks, which are typically used by painters and construction workers.
One store, Rotblott's Discount Warehouse, says that they sold nearly 1,000 face masks last week, when they usually would only sell 20.
Surgical masks are also in hot demand, though they're not as effective at filtering out disease and other airborne droplets like N95 respirators, which take their name from the fact they filter out 95 per cent of particles in the air.
Some are being bought in bulk to be sent over to people in China, where there's been reports of a severe mask shortage nationwide.
But there are also re-sellers looking to capitalize on thee cornonavirus frenzy: one user on Reddit shared an Instagram post of a high school student who claims to have bought the entire stock of face masks from Walmart or Canadian Tire to resell.
It's unclear how long big box stores like Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart will take to restock, and it appears that giant online stores are also sold out.
On Amazon, N95 respirators from M3, the company that manufactures the standard N95 8210 respirator, appear to be completely out of stock, though there are full facepieces and masks touting similar uses available online.
The manufacturing supply company ULINE is out of all four styles of their 3M industrial respirators as well.
Even less effective masks sold at Asian lifestyle stores like Miniso and Oomomo are completely out of stock.
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