“They kind of dial them down or up as conditions allow,” he said. “At the moment they’re kind of hunkering down like they were earlier last fall and they’re waiting it out and hoping it goes quickly.” Glenn MacDonald, an economist and professor at Washington University’s Olin School of News, said many organizations and small businesses spent the early parts of the pandemic hammering out strategies for adapting to surges in the virus. Local public health officials are urging people to avoid unnecessary activities over the next few weeks.
He’s not the only one switching up his business strategy as the highly contagious omicron variant rips across the St. Louis region. Fitzpatrick Smith moved up his planned two-week winter break and closed the restaurant.
Many educational and entertainment attractions have also temporarily closed their doors through the end of the month, including the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, among others. “I’m like, ’If people are going to keep getting sick like this, I’m not going to be able to staff, I’m not going to have any customers — or at least not enough,’” he said. “It just went through my head that day, ‘screw it.’”
“She has made a strong recommendation that we avoid social gatherings in order to slow the spread, as well as we have to continue getting vaccinated,” Jones said. She’s encouraging people to upgrade to KN95 or N95 masks. Jones said she’s taking advice from the city’s health director Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones told reporters Thursday that it isn’t currently feasible to implement stronger mandates because many people visit the city from surrounding counties. In St. Louis there is a mask mandate in effect on all indoor public spaces. But unlike early in the pandemic, St. Louis businesses are not required to enforce masks or limit capacity.
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