Businesses Struggle to Stay Open as COVID-19 Cases Surge

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The rise of COVID-19 cases is bringing back a trend we saw early in the pandemic: temporary business closures because of staff being exposed to the coronavirus. The latest example of it is the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility. 

The Facility shut its doors to the public on Tuesday, Aug. 3. This after several staffers at the shelter tested positive for COVID-19 

“I thought, and I think everyone thought, we were finally on the downward slope of this outbreak but it's racing its ugly head again,” said Daniel DeSouza, interim director of the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility.

The outbreak left the facility with only a handful of employees available to work. 

“The people that are here are busting their butts,” said DeSousa. “They are picking up the workload from other people that are out.”

The shelter had no choice but to close its doors to the public for two weeks.

“Our emphasis is obviously to care for the animals so we have closed our doors to the public so that we can focus all our time and energy to take care of the dogs, cats, and everything else,” Desousa said.

The shelter is among a growing list of businesses struggling to manage staff shortages due to the pandemic.

“What we’re dealing with right now is two-fold,” said Ghazala Sharieff, MD, chief medical officer for acute care at Scripps Health. “It’s not just COVID patients coming in, we also have regular people coming into the hospital and now on top of that covid patients so that is taxing our staff.”

Hospitals across the region are sounding the alarm, claiming the rise in COVID-19 cases is complicating their ability to bring in more staff.

“They said ‘I did my part and I’m done,’ said Sharieff. “And then we have the fatigued ones, people have been wanting to take time off for a long time, no one has gone anywhere for a long time and now everyone is traveling and then we have people getting sick as well."

People facing uncertainty, yet again, as the coronavirus continues to impact our lives.

“I hope we get through this and eventually we will and these animals will hopefully get new homes soon,” said DeSousa.

The Chula Vista Animal Care Center is expected to reopen on Aug.18.

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