El Paso businesses have been struggling to keep their doors open due to so many workers catching covid in the past few weeks. For the past few weeks, people have been waiting in line for hours at El Paso covid testing sites to see if they're positive for the virus. The number of positive cases has skyrocketed, with over 5,000 new cases reported by the City of El Paso.

When a person tests positive, the CDC recommends they quarantine for 5-10 days, depending on whether they are symptomatic or not. Because of these quarantine recommendations, many borderland residents have been forced to take time off work or call out sick until their symptoms abate.

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Businesses are now struggling to find healthy staffers to work, as more and more of their employees continue to test positive for the virus. Westside restaurant Piedmont Cafe was forced to close for a few days after they had a staffer test positive, and other staff members began feeling sick and needed to be tested. The restaurant wrote on their Instagram page they hope to reopen on Wednesday, January 12th.

Downtown eatery Elemi also was forced to close after one of their core team members tested positive for the virus. The owners explain in an Instagram post that while this was a major financial blow to the small local business, they would not put "profit over (their) team and their well-being." The restaurant was able to reopen one week ago.

On top of the issues of illness, many businesses are still struggling to find enough staff to keep them operating on their normal hours. Ardovino's Desert Crossing explained that they would close last Thursday and this coming Thursday due to staffing. The eatery also encouraged patrons to enjoy outdoor dining when eating there. Other restaurants and businesses have had to limit their hours of operation because of a lack of employees.

As the positive cases continue to climb in the area, the problems with staffing shortages will continue to be seen in all types of businesses. Customers need to remember how much stress these workers are under and be patient and polite. These problems don't seem like they'll be ending anytime soon.

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