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Medical supplier: Some Sault residents trying to buy hand sanitizer for resale amid COVID-19 concerns

Local supplier limiting purchase of Purell to three bottles per customer for time being; no limit for businesses
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SAULT STE. MARIE — Jim Mills, Health Gear Medical & Safety Inc. CEO, has informed SooToday “a couple” of individuals have attempted to purchase as many as 20 to 50 Purell hand sanitizer bottles at a time from his shop with the intention of reselling them in an attempt to capitalize on fears of COVID-19.

“They’re in the minority,” Mills emphasized.

“Someone wanted to buy 50 bottles. I said ‘is this for a business or personal use?’ He said ‘I’m going to sell it.’ I said ‘no, I’m sorry, I can't do that. Everybody else wants it. It’s not fair to everybody else who wants to buy it.’”

Mills said the majority of customers currently coming into his shop are buying hand sanitizer and protective masks before travelling out of town for March Break.

“We would limit them to one box of masks and three Purell for the time being. 99 per cent of the people are fine. It’s just that one per cent (trying to buy large amounts of supplies for resale).”

Mills said he expects to have 500 more bottles of hand sanitizer coming in Friday.

“I’m not limiting any businesses buying the stuff. We have businesses buying for their customers. We had one come in and buy 10 bottles and I’ve got no problem with that because they’re buying it to put on their shelves for their customers and their staff...I want to be able to make sure everybody can get some.”

As reported earlier on SooToday, Mills said there is no need for people to ‘panic buy’ hand sanitizer or masks, stating mass buying of those products leads to shortages of them for healthcare providers.


Darren Taylor

About the Author: Darren Taylor

Darren Taylor is a news reporter and photographer in Sault Ste Marie. He regularly covers community events, political announcements and numerous board meetings. With a background in broadcast journalism, Darren has worked in the media since 1996.
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