Businesses ready to deal with increase of H1N1

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

Health officials believe several thousand people in Mesa County could have swine flu. That's why the Health Department is urging people with flu like symptoms to stay home from work, but that has many local businesses feeling the symptoms as well.

Looking good won't be stopped by a few sniffles, but it could put a tangle in your day. Teresa Waller, owner of La Belle Amie says the problem is, "cancellations and rescheduling." Waller says sick clients canceling appointments hasn't been bad for business but it has caused a calendar crisis. Waller says, "I don't think its hurting us but it's just a scheduling problem."

And with almost one hundred clients in and out the door each day Waller says all her employees are taking precautions. "Every one of us has had a flu shot, we wash our hands we do sanitizer," says, Waller.

But health officials say the worst is yet to come. Dr. Michael Aduddell with the Mesa County Health Department says, "Over the weekend we saw a significant increase in flu activity."
Dr. Aduddell says, the H1N1 flu could peak in early or mid November. "We could very well have up to several thousand people that have been infected," say Dr. Aduddell. A fact that has management at the Rockslide Brewery reminding employees what they can do to keep healthy.

“We talk about it about two or three times a day with our staff," says, Rockslide owner Mike Bell. Bell says they've been fortunate that most of their employees are staying healthy and if servers do get sick, they would be prepared. "We have the availability of other employees already on the schedule that can pick up a shift. They are usually pretty good about helping each other out."

However, some businesses aren't that fortunate. Jolynn Garcia–Tillman of Jo’s Clothes says she only has one employee, herself. Garcia–Tillman calling in sick means calling in a favor. "Some great family and great friends that are ready and willing at anytime."

While health officials say the worst is yet to come, these business owners say it will take more than the flu to shut their doors.

Officials say 14 people in Mesa County have been hospitalized because of the H1N1 virus. They recommend pregnant women and people with chronic illness get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible.

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