MILWAUKEE — The Omicron-fueled COVID-19 spike is closing Milwaukee businesses during one of the busiest times of the year. Some note they just don't have enough healthy workers.
On Monday, the CDC issued new rules, cutting quarantine time for many COVID-19 cases, which could help businesses either keep their doors open or reopen sooner.
From museums to bars, the spread of Omicron has affected staffing at many businesses in the city, leaving many places dark until staffing levels improve.
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum announced it will not open its doors until January, despite being in one of its busiest times of the year, winter break.
“One of the things we planned to do was be open this entire week,” said Brian King, CEO of the museum.
The museum will close until early January.
- Betty Brinn Children’s Museum closed until Jan. 5 due to staffing issues
- Social Development Commission temporarily closing locations to stop COVID-19 spread
“It’s just right now, we got hit with a number of staff exposures and COVID positives that have created a situation where we couldn’t open safely,” King said.
Betty Brinn isn’t alone. Several businesses opted to do the same.
“[We] Got a lot of calls in that people were calling in because they had contact or discovered they had COVID,” said Dr. George Hinton, CEO of the Social Development Commission (SDC).
The SDC is also, now closing its doors until Jan. 1, but will work to help people remotely with rent assistance, food, and home weatherization.
- Breakthrough COVID cases cancels final shows of 'Nutcracker'
- Marquette v. St. John’s game canceled Wednesday due to COVID-19
“We’re trying to stay open where we think it is critical for our community, then we’re going to reassess this later this week,” Hinton said.
The CDC now recommends the quarantine time for asymptomatic people last five days, which is down from 10 days previously.