COVID surge causing worker callouts throughout all sectors of society

Long Island's high COVID positivity rate is leaving many businesses shorthanded.
Shoppers may notice grocery stores and retail chains have had some shelves bare due to supply chain issues and not enough employees to stock the shelves.
First responders, school employees and other parts of society have also been affected due to workers being infected with the coronavirus.
Economists say the recent surge in COVID cases and employee absences is just another strain on businesses that has left employers unsure on who will be able to make it into work on a particular day.
"The other thing it affects us with is labor businesses finally have the opportunity to hire more people," says financial planner Mitch Goldberg. "They've gotten their COVID policies down and all of the sudden they have to lose their workers because of COVID."
Employers are hopeful that the latest coronavirus surge and callouts will subside soon, but it could have an impact to the economy in the long run.
"This adds to the problem of inflation," Goldberg says. "Shortages, less supply, more demand, prices go up so it's getting hard to find everything you want on the shelf."
Some schools like Uniondale have gone to remote learning due to employees calling out, and airlines have canceled and delayed flights.
Nassau's first responders say they have been short-staffed while their call volume goes up.
"We've had people go out sick, some people have been symptomatic," says Nassau Fire Marshal Mike Uttaro. "Thankfully during this holiday break there was a lot of college students home, and they sometimes are a great asset to augment the fire service and volunteer ambulance services as far as having extra staff."
He says response times have not been delayed because of coordination and help of mutual aid.