MIAMI (NewsNation Now) – Workers across the country are calling in sick due to anger over the omicron COVID-19 variant. Staff shortages have been seen in several industries, from airlines to medical, and now retailers are starting to feel the crisis as well.
Macy’s is shortening its hours of operation for the rest of the month as coronavirus cases continue to rise. A Walmart in Auburndale, Florida, temporarily closed on Monday because too many employees were sick. A cleaning crew was called in to disinfect the building.
A Walmart buyer was shocked to see the retailer shut down.
“I came here, and for the first time, saw Walmart closed, which is a surprise to me!” he said.
It is a particularly difficult time for small businesses such as restaurants that already do not have enough employees. The Tupelo Honey Café in Raleigh, North Carolina, put a sign on their doors, letting customers know they were understaffed. Principal Abby Dearlove said at first it was a labor shortage, but now it’s sick calls.
“We have issues with servers and team members getting sick and unable to come to work. Double whammy, ”she said.
Jesse Shaw, a resident of St. Louis, said it took 10 hours for an ambulance to arrive after his brother fell ill on Sunday afternoon.
Josh Ross, director of the Gillespie-Benld region ambulance service, said the problem was getting out of hand.
“The problem we have right now is it’s just a lack of people,” he said.
It comes as the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Tuesday that a record 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs in November, confirming more than ever that Americans are exhausted and that the “Great Resignation” is coming. will likely continue until 2022.
Some school districts are being forced to switch to distance learning amid the growing number of COVID-19 cases.
In Michigan, a new law allows schools to use non-teaching staff such as cafeteria workers and bus drivers to replace substitute teachers. The only requirement is that a person must have a high school diploma. New legislation faces mixed reviews from state education professionals
“If someone comes in, does he know how to deal with student behavior? Said Mary Bouwense of the Grand Rapids Education Association. “Do they know how to read a lesson plan? “
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 85,000 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19, just below the delta peak peak of about 94,000 in early September. The all-time high during the pandemic was around 125,000 in January last year.