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A shops in Alhambra, California on Feb. 27 Photo: Frederic Brown via Getty Images

As more people are buying out Clorox wipes, sprays and bleach, CVS is handling temporary shortages of hand sanitizer and fitted N95 face masks that began earlier this month, CVS spokesperson Joe Goode told Axios.

Driving the news: Health officials in California, Oregon and Washington announced Friday that four patients are presumed to have the novel coronavirus. Three of them were infected by unknown means, per the CDC, while the fourth case is likely travel related.

Details: CVS shortages began in early February, Goode said, and the company is resupplying as quickly as possible amid a "surge in customer demand." CVS does not currently have a significant shortage of disinfectant wipes or sprays, he said.

  • Goode declined to identify which CVS locations are experiencing these temporary shortages, noting that the company has a local retail presence in 10,000 communities.

Reality check: Washing your hands is the best way to protect against the coronavirus, according to doctors and health officials.

  • The U.S. Surgeon General urged Americans to "stop buying masks" on Saturday, saying that "if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!"
  • Jerome Adams said that face masks are not effective for keeping the general public from catching the coronavirus.

The big picture: There are severe shortages of face masks in China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, as people are encouraged to wear them.

  • When low-risk countries stockpile N-95 masks, they are taking the supply away from people who have an immediate need for them, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.

Go deeper... California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
43 mins ago - Technology

Google's parent shuts down effort to deliver internet via balloons

Image: Loon

Alphabet is shutting down Loon, one of its "moonshots," which aimed to deliver internet service via high-altitude balloons.

Why it matters: The effort was one of several approaches designed to get high-speed connectivity to some of the world's most remote spots and proved useful in the aftermath of disasters that shut down traditional infrastructure.

Dave Lawler, author of World
59 mins ago - World

What has and hasn't changed as Biden takes over U.S. foreign policy

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden swiftly recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization, but America's broader foreign policy is in a state of flux between the Trump and Biden eras.

Driving the news: One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration's last-minute determination that China had committed "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead — Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.

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