Local businesses get hit with COVID-19

Local businesses have been struggling throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but not as severely as now, as case numbers continue to increase in Newbury Park. As a result, many local restaurant employees have contracted the coronavirus, leading to restaurants shutting down and restricting their hours.

One popular business that has been recently impacted by infection is Starbucks. Since many of these Starbucks stores share employees across town, managers decided to close multiple stores in Newbury Park in recent weeks due to an employee contracting COVID-19. David Cho, junior, has been working at the Starbucks on Wendy Drive since September, and despite the unfortunate closures, he believes management is appropriately handling the situation. “They keep it really professional and they always make sure to respect the partner’s privacy… No names are disclosed. It’s really professional and my manager has always called us personally,” Cho said. 

Tristan Boyer, another Starbucks employee and NPHS alumnus, has been working at the Starbucks on Reino Road for one and a half years and misses customer interaction with the closures and restrictions. “Before, when I would come to work at Starbucks, I would be all happy because I could go into Starbucks and [be] like, ‘Oh, there’s gonna be all the beautiful, lovely people sitting inside that I can talk to and everything and have a good time with.’ But now, it just kind of feels like you’re in a little coffee factory where people rush in, you make the same drink 1000 times and they rush out,” Boyer said. 

Unlike Cho, Boyer did not believe his bosses have been handling employees contracting COVID-19 well, as when he was exposed to a friend whose sibling had COVID-19, they would not let him call out of work. “If, you know, odds are you are around someone that has COVID like…you’re not allowed to call out unless they get a positive test,” Boyer said.

Starbucks is not the only store to be hit by COVID Several fast food chains have had to shut down. Jane Doe (name has been changed for anonymity), an NPHS alumna, has been continuously witnessing closures of her store due to multiple staff members testing positive for COVID-19.

“(My managers) don’t want anyone to know why we shut down for so they’re like, ‘Just pretend like there was a different issue like don’t tell them anything to do with COVID’… Basically, she just says like, ‘Oh, tell them there’s a staffing issue,’” Doe said. 

Despite these closures, many customers still have refused to wear masks inside the restaurant.  “I work pretty often. I would go in like five or six days a week and there’s at least like one or two days out of that work week where I would have at least one encounter with an anti-masker,” Doe said. “It gets kind of heated sometimes… It gets hard to monitor all those people to do something to go along with store and county rules and everything.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.