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Some Businesses Forced To Temporarily Close, Shorten Hours Due To Employees With COVID-19

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Have you noticed some of your favorite places to shop are short-staffed or closing early?

The surge in Omicron cases is impacting businesses all over South Florida and beyond.

With millions of Omicron cases every week, businesses are taking a hit. From retail stores and banks to pharmacies, many places are being forced to abruptly close or shorten their hours as employees test positive.

"Went to a couple of places and I'm like 'wow, they're closed?' Everything's been closing early," said Patty Perez of Coral Gables.

"Lines are going longer, there are more self-service," said Nurys Dassori, a Little Havana resident.

Macy's recently announced, it will shorten store hours Monday through Thursday through the rest of January because so many employees are calling out sick. Retail stores aren't the only ones.

"I went to my bank and they told me oh we're not opening on Saturdays anymore," said Dassori.

Pharmacies are no exception either.

"People needing work in general and now businesses closing early. There are even places that have a shortage of food," said Perez.

A Walgreens Pharmacy on Miami Beach was forced to close for several days because employees tested positive. In a statement they said, they've had to temporarily close a number of stores because of COVID. They're trying to move pharmacists around to locations that are short-staffed.

"Out of everything, that's an essential business and essential needs. I have my grandma right now, she's in the hospital but if I cannot get her prescription that's a problem," said Dassori.

If your pharmacy is closed and you need a medication, Walgreens and CVS recommend giving them a call or using their apps to talk with a pharmacist.

"I would imagine it's going to be difficult. Times are getting so hard with how things are going right now," said Perez.

For all of the coffee lovers out there, Starbucks stores are also struggling to stay fully staffed. They've had to temporarily close stores and shorten hours.

"They closed really early, it was like 6 or 5 and they were closed," said Lelani Perez.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said all store hours are being adjusted on their app and website under store locator. Head there first, before you head out to get your coffee fix.

As of now, experts are predicting Omicron cases will peak this month. We've reached out to a handful of businesses for updates on store hours and COVID-19 protocols. You can find them right here.


"When there are COVID cases in stores, Starbucks will reduce hours to make sure employees aren't overworked. If there is a positive case at a store, we activate our protocols immediately to allow employees time off to stay at home and self-isolate. We comply with best practices with the CDC. On the Starbucks app or website, under Store Locator, you can find updated hours of operation for each store."


"Like others in the retail industry, this latest surge of COVID-19 has impacted some of our store team members, and as a result, there have been isolated instances in which we've had to temporarily close a limited number of stores due to quarantine protocols and cleaning procedures.

In the event we need to temporarily close a store, we direct some pharmacy services to the nearest Walgreens. Customers can also call 1-800-Walgreens for their prescription needs or can use our pharmacist chat option, which is available 24/7 on our app or online.

We make every effort to deploy additional staffing resources to any store that may be impacted so that we can resume normal operations as quickly as possible and minimize disruption for our customers and patients. We remain committed to doing all we can to support our communities during this critical time."


"The health and safety of our customers and colleagues remain our top priority. Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, we will temporarily revise store hours for the remainder of January at all Macy's stores. In January, stores will be open Monday -Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm. Store hours for Friday through Sunday will remain unchanged. Our store colleagues will continue to work their normal allocated hours. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the CDC and jurisdictional guidelines as well as keep enhanced safety and wellness procedures in place.

On background, this step to adjust our store hours in January is part of our workforce management as we anticipate colleague covid cases to increase. In our stores, we have implemented enhanced safety and wellness procedures to help alleviate any potential health concerns, following the Centers for Disease Control's recommended protocol. This includes enhanced cleaning in heavily trafficked areas and hard surfaces which include entrances, customer service stations, vertical transportation, restrooms, and break rooms. Additionally, Macy's provides our colleagues with face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus and guides daily wellness checks to support a safe working environment. To further enhance safety, Macy's also recommends our customers to wear a facial covering while shopping in our stores, and we are encouraging all customers to practice social distancing. If the customer does not have a mask, we will be happy to provide one. We encourage our colleagues to continue to follow the CDC-recommended everyday measures and will remain vigilant and partner with local and state officials along with mall management. This step to reduce our store operating hours in January is part of our workforce management as we anticipate colleague covid cases to increase.

We continue to provide curbside pickup, same-day delivery as well as offer our full assortment on or our Macy's app."


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