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COVID surge impacts staffing; local businesses close due to shortages

'Any small business can't function on those wait times'
Posted at 6:17 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 19:17:08-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Higher case counts and a more transmissible variant are severely impacting businesses. They say they're dealing with staffing shortages.

Lauritzen Gardens is now closed until Jan. 8 because of the issue.

A representative told 3 News Now it's "been the perfect storm." They add the shortage is due to a number of reasons, but COVID is one of them.

Factors like exposure to the virus, then waiting for a test, subsequently waiting for results, and possibly time for quarantine all add up.

Modern Love, a restaurant in Midtown is facing similar issues. They've closed their dining room for the time being.

"We’re hoping that it will only be a couple weeks once there is adequate testing available and if people are showing symptoms are able to get a rapid test and are able to get those tests right back. That will allow us to function with a dining room. But at this time they may show symptoms, they can’t get a test for two or three days, then they have to wait another couple of days to get their results back. Any small business can’t function on those wait times," said Liam Smith, head chef at Modern Love.

Thankfully they can do take-out orders. A model they turned to early in the pandemic to keep the business going.

"We’ve had a model of how we’ve done it before so it’s not too difficult to bounce back to that but we’re hoping it won’t be too long this time," Smith says.