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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Coronavirus sick inland workers, restaurants, shops closing temporarily

The country-wide Omicron boom is worsening widespread staff shortages at restaurants, coffee shops, hotels and wineries in the inland empire as waves of workers sicken.

Seasonal flu and colds, as well as absenteeism induced by coronavirus infections, are driving closures, shortened hours and scaling down of services.

Benita Bratton, owner of The Village’s BBQ Restaurant and Catering in Downtown Riverside, closed her dining room on Wednesday, Jan. 12, when the waitress and dishwasher — 12 of her employees — fell ill.

“We have a lot of people with Omicron,” Bratton said. “It’s so prevalent right now that I want to protect my employees and my business.”

Breton worries that, if she continues to offer indoor dining, noting that people take off masks to eat, many more workers could get sick and force her to shut down completely. .

“We’re just hanging by a little thread,” she said.

She plans to offer outside food only “until things get better”.

Others have also closed. For example, the inside of a Starbucks coffee shop in Ontario was seen closed on Thursday, January 13, although the drive-thru lane was open.

On Sunday, January 9, the Pomona Starbucks which was known for its busy drive-thru was closed entirely—as was the dining room. A sign announced new, limited hours.

“When a store is experiencing temporary staff shortages, we respond by reducing hours,” Starbucks spokeswoman Abby Wadson wrote in an email on Friday, January 14.

Wadson said those decisions are made locally.

Inland Empire economist John Hsing said an increase in worker absenteeism is exacerbating the workforce shortage, leaving employers with much of the pandemic grappling with.

It’s impossible to miss the “help wanted” signs, which Hsing said “absolutely everywhere.”

“I don’t remember any period like this in the more than 50 years of tracking this stuff,” he said.

Hsing said restaurants, small retail stores and hotels are all struggling to fill positions. So are warehouse and trucking companies.

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“Every truck, behind it, has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign,” he said.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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