Triangle businesses feel impacts of coronavirus spread; schools have plan prepared

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The coronavirus breakout, which started on the other side of the world in China, is impacting business done in the Triangle.

Terry Rigsbee at Durham’s Medical Supply Superstore said the virus’ spread around China and beyond has made him busy as of late.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “My glove business has picked up 100 percent in the last week.”

The coronavirus outbreak has demand high and supply low.

“People are in a panic mode,” he said. “They come in here, and you see it in their face.”

He said it’s also impacted how he gets his products.

“Most of our masks and everything are made overseas,” Rigsbee said. “Everything is under quarantine, and what they tell me is a lot of it is sitting on the docks, and they won’t release it.”

A spokesperson with Durham Public Schools released a statement to CBS 17 Tuesday:

Durham Public Schools is in constant contact with our partners at the Durham County Department of Public Health. We have a standing preparedness and response plan for pandemic flu that we would activate, with any necessary modifications, if called for. In cooperation with state and local health departments, our objectives would be to reduce transmission of the virus, minimize illness, maintain mission-critical operations and services, and minimize disruption of instruction.

Durham Public Schools

Meanwhile, doctors at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center said the coronavirus has not impacted patients.

“I think the concern is changing and evolving week to week,” oncologist Dr. Joshua Zeidner said.

Zeidner said the flu has been an issue in the community.

They recommend those undergoing treatments take precautions and talk with providers before traveling.

“A lot of our patients that are undergoing chemotherapy or treatment of their cancer have compromised immune systems,” Zeidner said. “They’re much more susceptible to have ill-effects of influenza and other viruses.”

Meanwhile, Rigsbee hopes to stay stocked up to serve his community.

“We’re trying to get good customer service here,” Rigsbee said. “We’ve got a lot of loyal customers coming in here and we want to make sure that they get the product.”

Rigsbee said his store is set up to help out local schools if they need supplies.

MD Anderson Cancer Center has information regarding cancer patients and the coronavirus.

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