VANCOUVER -- As fears surrounding the spread of COVID-19 continue to grow, some people in Vancouver are stocking up on essentials fearing there could be shortages, and that has already left some store shelves empty.

"The COVID-19 scare is pretty much going around for everybody,” said shopper Kyle Lawrence. "For the family, we just want to make sure we have the provisions that we're just missing, just for the time being, right? You know, I've got two little kids and I just want to make sure that they are fed."

At Costco on Expo Boulevard Friday afternoon, people lined up for cases of bottled water as staff moved additional pallets in with a fork lift.

Some canned goods, including Spam and black beans, were either in short supply or sold out entirely.

Toilet paper was running low and staff said Lysol disinfectant spray was sold out.

CTV News asked Premier John Horgan about whether British Columbians should stock up as the virus continues to spread around the globe.

“When we talk about emergency preparedness, we live in a seismic zone, we always ask people to have additional resources available in their home in the event of an emergency,” the premier said. “And those are choices that individuals can and should make, but for us it's focusing on public health."

He encouraged people who feel they might be sick to take precautions and stay home to avoid further spread of illness.

A staff member at the downtown Costco who did not want to be identified said he didn’t think any significant items would be out of stock.

He added panic buying was uncommon and wondered if we would see more of it in the coming days and weeks if the outbreak continues to spread.