Nebraskans Are Stealing Toilet Paper From Interstate Rest Stops

Some Americans have been stealing toilet paper from Interstate 80 rest stops in Nebraska because of shortages in stores across the U.S.

Citing the thefts, the state's Department of Transportation said it will be closing down some rest spots along I-80 when they have no attendant present, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

A spokeswoman told the local newspaper, "We're doing our best to keep them open, but we want to make sure when we do keep them open we have a safe location. With that becomes maintaining it and making sure it's in a good condition." She also said travelers will be told when buildings are closed through Nebraska's 511 information number.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website says the current number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state is 27, with no deaths.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has let to panic buying by Americans, including toilet paper. This is leading to shortages in stores across the country. People in Oregon have even dialed 911 to report they have run out of toilet paper, according to USA Today. The calls led the Newport, Oregon, Police Department to create a Facebook post to address the bizarre calls: "Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance."

It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You...

Posted by Newport Oregon Police Department on Saturday, March 14, 2020

Georgia-Pacific, which makes Angel Soft toilet paper, said that "inventory levels across our system remain healthy and we are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities," according to the Today show's website. The company's research shows a two-person household needs about nine double rolls, or five mega rolls, for two weeks. A family of four needs 17 double rolls, or nine mega rolls, for the same period.

Georgia-Pacific tweeted out a message to consumers thanking them for their "continued patience" while its products are being shipped out:

Thanks for your continued patience. If you have questions, please continue to send us a DM. The most up to date information on our response can be found on https://t.co/natEOb9ot4: https://t.co/8LftPR4pDA pic.twitter.com/xzOaYVwPGn

— Georgia-Pacific (@GeorgiaPacific) March 16, 2020

As numerous states close down or severely limit nonessential businesses to halt the virus' spread, the uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led many people to stock up on essentials in their homes. All 50 states now have confirmed cases. As of Thursday morning, there are 9,415 confirmed cases in the United States and 150 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center. The worldwide number of confirmed cases is above 222,600, and the number of deaths is over 9,100.

Coronavirus Pandemic Causes Climate Of Anxiety And Changing Routines In America
A pedestrian carries two packages of toilet paper on March 17 in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty