LOS ANGELES - It appears that there may once again be purchase limits on some items sold at Costco as the delta COVID-19 variant continues to inundate the nation’s health care system.
The company said on its website dedicated to updates on the ongoing pandemic that "some warehouses may have temporary item limits on select items."
Costco did not specify which locations would have limits and which items would be in limited stock. Costco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the early days of the pandemic, many consumers resorted to panic buying, causing long lines and mass shortages across many grocery stores and retail chains.
This prompted Costco to institute a priority store access policy on March 24, 2020 which gave first responders and health care workers priority during the shortages as supplies like masks, hand sanitizer and even toilet paper were becoming scarce.
Costco also implemented limits on certain items last year to ensure customers had equal access to the products they were looking for.
Many items had become highly coveted as consumers rushed to stockpile supplies in preparation for lockdowns that had been implemented by local governments in areas across the U.S. in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Despite the country’s vaccination efforts, the U.S. is averaging nearly 155,000 new infections a day, but the caseload trajectory has slowed down dramatically from earlier in August.
According to an update published by the CDC on Aug. 27, The current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (142,006) increased 2.8% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (138,087). The current 7-day moving average is 107.2% higher compared to the peak observed on July 20, 2020 (68,522).
Vaccination numbers are also up, and White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients credited vaccine mandates that have been implemented across the country, including restaurants, workplaces, sports stadiums and schools.
But the numbers haven't budged much in the one week since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to Pfizer for its vaccine after reviewing six months of safety data. The seven-day average for vaccine doses administered across the U.S. rose to 898,000 on Monday, up from 853,000 one week earlier.
Deaths are also on the rise, averaging more than 1,300 a day, in what health officials have predicted would happen as a result of the massive rise in cases and hospitalizations over the last month.
Kelly Hayes contributed to this story.