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Florida workers are getting sick with Omicron, causing a "mini-lockdown," says UCF's Sean Snaith

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Many Florida companies that were already short-staffed are now facing dozens of workers calling out sick with COVID at the same time due to the latest Omicron variant. 

The highly infectious Omicron variant has already set new records in Florida for daily caseloads.

Economist and UCF professor Sean Snaith says that doesn’t bode well for small businesses that are understaffed. 

Snaith says it’s like another lockdown as some companies will have to shut their doors if they are missing essential staff. 

“You know this is just making it worse. The workers that were working calling out sick just really compounds the problems.”

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Snaith says one thing that might help: the CDC reducing the required quarantine and isolation time to five days. That means people can get back on the job sooner.

“Well I mean, I think in effect for some establishments it's like a mini-shutdown you know, they they don't have enough employees to stay open. Some are forced to, to close their doors and you know, anecdotally I experienced that. Just last night I stopped to get gas and I wanted to go into the convenience store to to use the restroom, but the doors were locked and there was a sign that said they were temporarily closed due to staffing problems.

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Orange County announced Tuesday it will open a third COVID testing site at the South Orange Youth Sports Complex due to a surge in demand for testing.

For a list of test sites in the county, click on the link.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
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