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Milwaukee businesses opting to close as Omicron variant spreads

Betty Brinn Children's Museum
Posted at 8:18 PM, Dec 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 14:00:23-05

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.

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. Credit: NIAID-RML

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.

“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.

Social Development Commission

“[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.

“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.

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