Sioux Falls business paying more for face masks amid Coronavirus outbreak

Local News

The demand for disposable face masks is rising amid concerns over the Coronavirus.

According to the CDC, there are more than a dozen confirmed cases in the United States.

The below map is using data from the CDC, and has been taking several days to update. Johns Hopkins University has been updating a map in real-time with data from state departments of health, which appear to be more up-to-date.

Tracking Coronavirus in the U.S.

Top health officials are telling people you don’t need to wear a mask if you’re healthy.

Still some people are stocking up and businesses are feeling the effects of mask shortages and increased prices.

Erik Premer puts on a face mask every time he does a piercing.

“Cleanliness is our number one priority as far as safety goes, you know? And masks are one of the integral pieces in order to achieve that,” Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and Piercing Senior Piercer Erik Premer said.

He’s a senior piercer at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and Piercing.

The shop manager of the downtown Sioux Falls business, Brian Gochal, estimates they go through about 2,000 masks every couple of months.

Kelli Volk: These are the masks you use and they’re fairly basic.
Gochal: Yes, this is the most basic of masks you’ve seen on television a hundred times.

Back in October, Brian Gochal ordered 2,000 masks online for about $135.

“Now, when I went to buy them 2,000 masks are I think $1,980,” Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and Piercing Shop Manager Brian Gochal said.

He also searched other places and found instances of masks being more expensive or out of stock.

Gochal did order the masks, but he’ll keep doing his research for the next time around.

“I will do my due diligence and search deep and wide where I can find them at a better price, get them at the best price I can, see how many I need. We’re coming into summer so it’s actually ramping up so I’m probably going to need more,” Gochal said.

“It’s just kind of one of those things that we just have to bite the bullet and deal with it to the best of our ability,” Premer said.

There are actions you can take to prevent the spread of respiratory disease, including washing your hands and staying home when you’re sick.

For everything you need to know about the Coronavirus, click here.

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