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Price gougers ask insane prices for hand sanitizer, masks amid coronavirus outbreak

Price gougers ask insane prices for hand sanitizer, masks amid coronavirus outbreak
Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 13:07:30-05

One of the worst things about a crisis is people who try to profit off of the emergency. And in the case of coronavirus, it's online sellers price gouging.

Hunting for face masks right now? In most Walgreens, CVS, Home Depots, and Lowe's stores, you'll find empty shelves. And Purell hand sanitizer is becoming almost as hard to find in some stores.

Medical N95 masks are now going to health care professionals, not stores, which means you are lucky to find some sanding masks (which don't protect against germs).

But online, you'll find basic surgical masks that used to cost well under a dollar each, now asking $7.99 or more.

Even the better N95 masks used to sell for just a dollar or two bucks each.

A check of Amazon now finds masks sold out, or on back order. But we found third party sellers offering a pack of N95 masks for $886, 10 times the original price.

This comes as the CDC says healthy people do not need to wear masks, suggesting instead you wash often with soap and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Amazon fighting gougers

And from the "doesn't that stink" file, sellers are ignoring Amazon's warning about price gouging.

Amazon is pulling gougers listings, but high priced masks keep popping up like a game of Whack-a-Mole.

Prices on basic Purell sanitizer are now quadrupling online as well. It's enough to make you say "doesn't that stink."

eBay is filled with listings that don't inspire confidence, like something called a "coronavirus mask." There's no such thing as a coronavirus mask.

Sure, if you are worried, it may be tempting to pay whatever someone is asking for face masks.

But the CDC says a thin paper mask probably won't protect you anyway. So don't waste your money.

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Coronavirus Testing Sites - Kern County

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State-Provided Sites
  • Must have an appointment
  • Free, but if have insurance they will bill
  • No screening criteria

Kern County Fairgrounds
1142 South P Street, Building 4, Access Gate 27
Mojave Veterans Hall
15580 O Street, Mojave
Arvin Public Health
204 S Hill Street, Arvin
5th District Drive-Thru at The Prado Senior Center
2101 Ridge Road



County-Provided Sites
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Oildale - Good Samaritan Hospital
901 Olive Drive, Bakersfield
  • For Registration call (661) 215-7725
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am - 8 pm, Saturday 8 am - 12 pm

Ridgecrest - Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
1081 N. China Lake Blvd, Ridgecrest
  • For Registration: Text the word "testing" to 833-774-4968 Or Call 866-774-9984
  • Drive-Thru Only
  • Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:30 am

Delano - Delano Regional Medical Center
1401 Garces Hwy, Delano
  • No Drive-Thru option
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm

Kern River Valley - Kern Valley Hospital (Coming Soon)
6412 Laurel Ave, Mt Mesa
  • No Drive-Thru option

Tehachapi - Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley
1100 Magellan Dr 93561