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Some Costco stores suspend free samples amid coronavirus outbreak, reports say

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Posted at 8:02 PM, Mar 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-06 22:02:26-05

You may not spot free food samples during your next Costco run.

The chain is temporarily suspending the practice at some stores amid coronavirus fears, Business Insider and USA Today report.

The Bakersfield, California, location is among the affected stores, an official confirmed to KERO.

The store also told KERO that it’s limiting each shopper to only two packs of paper towels, water and toilet paper, some of the items that are flying off the shelves as people worry about the new coronavirus, which causes the disease called COVID-19.

It’s unclear at this time which other Costco stores will be affected or when the samples will return.

Snacking before buying is part of the chain's image, but some customers worry that those finger-licking-good food samples might be a bad idea right now.

The virus, which has now spread to several U.S. states, is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, either between people who are in close contact with one another, or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC.

“These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs,” writes the CDC.

The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases, like COVID-19:

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
· Stay home when you are sick.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.