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COVID uptick causes staffing issues for businesses

With COVID cases trending up once again in the Keystone State, businesses are feeling the pain of staffing issues.

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. — Some business owners, specifically those in the restaurant industry, tell us once again they are having to make adjustments as COVID numbers continue to creep up.

We are starting to take notice of signs like this again, 'Dining room closed due to short staff' or 'by appointment only.' Staffing woes continue as the pandemic does, too.

At Abbiocco near Clarks Summit, a giant "Now Hiring" sign hangs at the entrance.

"Yeah, we've been trying to hire for the past few years. If people apply for the job on Indeed or somewhere like that, they just don't show up for the interviews. So we are really short-staffed because of all this," said Rose Fazio, Abbiocco.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is now only releasing COVID data once a week.

The numbers we received this week show cases trending up, averaging about 3,000 cases per day.

Many business owners are short-staffed as it is.  As cases go up, so do worries about staff members and their health.

"All of our staff is pretty much school kids. So it gets you really nervous when they are in school. I mean thankfully, summer is close, so hopefully, that holds out," said Sam Mikloiche-Samm, Andy's Pizza.

"We are taking precautions. If anyone is a little sick, we have them stay home for the day. We will get it covered and figure it out," said Charles Porman, O-Town manager.

"When we have someone go out sick because if they have any symptoms at all, they can't come in. Then people are doing doubles, so we are exhausted," said Fazio.

Rose Fazio owns Abbiocco and runs it full-time.

Says keeping track of employees' symptoms has become a second job.

"That's the last thing I want is anyone to come here and get us sick, so then we are even more short-staffed, or god forbid, a customer. So just keeping track on everyone's health probably makes me lose a little sleep at night," said Fazio.

Both the Department of Health and the CDC encourage people to look at the hospitalizations and deaths in terms of COVID severity.  Here in Pennsylvania, hospitalizations are trending up a bit, but deaths are not.

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