Businesses react to new CDC guidance, update on staffing shortages

(ABC 6 News) – Local businesses are still being hit hard by the supply chain and by staffing shortages. We asked local restaurants if the Centers for Disease Control’s new COVID-19 guidelines — which potentially shortens quarantine to five days — provide any relief for staffing.

"The servers are answering the phone, doing the to-go orders, and dealing with people in the restaurant," said Jackie Soares, a server at Beetle’s Bar and Grill.

Beetle’s Bar and Grill in Rochester is hiring. Right now, workers say they can handle the workload fine when fully staffed. However, just one or two people calling out sick sends them into 30 or 40 minute wait times.

"There’s only so much you can do," Soares said of the slow service.

She knows covering for sick coworkers is hard for everyone, but she would be nervous cutting her quarantine from 10 to five days as the CDC suggests.

"People getting sick — it’s like getting harder again to cover the schedule. But I would feel better myself taking those 10 days off and making sure that I was okay because I do serve people," Soares said.

The new CDC guidance says that people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days If they’re asymptomatic or have resolving symptoms, they can go back to work if wearing a mask.

Others see the benefits of the shorter quarantine — helping to keep the place staffed.

"I think it will be helpful for the whole society — everyone. Whether it’s businesses or just getting on with your life. 10 to 14 days were long," said Scott Schneider, owner of Tavern 22.

He knows no one likes taking time off work but wants his employees to feel comfortable staying home until they’re healthy.

"I think their health is more important and I think they realize that also," he said.

Schneider acknowledged restaurants must stay flexible and ask that customers do the same when service gets slow.

"It can change week to weekday to day month to month," he said.

Another thing restaurants agree on — it’s imperative they stay open — many believe they wouldn’t survive another mandated shut down.