Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Mask Off, Mahi Mahi On. Restaurant workers are in the race for vaccines

During the epidemic, many of those Americans were dearly remembered for some of the most dangerous activities: giving nachos a scarf, a date in a crowded group of friends or a sticky bar inside a restaurant with scores of screaming games. .

Now, as more states ban indoor food and expand access to vaccines, restaurant employees – who take the front from the cheerful facilitators of frontline workers mocking everyone – protect themselves against the new slash of business Are scrambling for

“It’s really stressful,” said Julia Piscionier. Butcher and Bee In Charleston. “People are fine with masks, but it’s not like before. I think people take the restaurant and their employees. This has taken a toll. “

The United States has a return to economic vitality led According to the places of food and drink, which suffered the most losses in the last year. Balancing the financial benefits of return to regular hours with labor protection, particularly in states where the theoretical vaccine outstrips actual supply, is the industry’s latest hurdle.

In many states, workers are still unable to get shots, especially in areas where they were not included Priority group Spring. Immigrants, who make up a large segment of the restaurant work force, are often afraid to sign up, worrying that the process will legally strangle them.

Some states have dropped façade mandates and capacity limits inside installations – which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still doing a potentially risky job – further endangering employees.

“It is important for food and beverage workers to use the vaccine, especially as preservatives, who have no guarantee that they will be vaccinated and will obviously not be masked when they eat or drink,” Dr. Alex JahangirPresident of a coronovirus task force in Nashville. “This is a major concern for me as we balance the competitive interests of vaccinating everyone as soon as possible before removing more and more restrictions.”

Servers in Texas are working with all of the above. The state had strictly limited initial eligibility for the shots, but opened access last week to all residents and over 16, creating a huge demand for slots. The governor recently dropped the state’s loosely enforced mask mandate, and allowed the restaurant to proceed and serve all comrades with zero limits.

“Texas is in a unique position because we have all these things going on,” said Anna Touzin, chief revenue and innovation officer at the Texas Restaurant Association.

The business group is pairing up with a healthcare provider to target industry workers to schedule separate days at mass vaccine sites in the state’s four largest cities.

The industry has also taken up matters at other places.

In Charleston, Michael Shemtov, who owns several locations, recently transformed a food hall into a restaurant worker vaccine site with the help of a local clinic. (The post-shot Observation seating sushi was in place; Celebrators were tipped in a nearby pizzeria.) Ms. Paxonier and her companions eagerly took advantage of them. “I’m super relieved,” she said. “Appointments are so hard to get.”

In Houston, Legacy Restaurant – which owns Original Ninja and Anton’s Famous Po ‘Boys’ – is running two vaccine drives for all staff members and their spouses, with the owners believing that they will protect workers and customers. Will assure you

Some cities and counties are also dealing with the problem. Last month, Los Angeles County scheduled a majority appointment of five mass sites two days a week for an estimated 500,000 workers in the food and agricultural industries – half of which are restaurant workers. In Nashville, the Department of Health has opted to schedule 500 different locations for the next week, especially for people in the food and hospitality industries. It is possible that restaurants will be able to is needed Their workers will be vaccinated in the future.

Many business sectors were battered by the coronovirus epidemic, but there is widespread agreement that hospitality was the most difficult and sustained some of the low-wage workers The biggest Beats For example, in February 2020, restaurant employee hours were up 2 percent up A strong period before the year; Two months later those hours were cut in half.

While hours and wages have recovered to some extent, the industry is bound by regulations that most other businesses – including airlines and retail stores – have not faced. The reasons point to an unfortunate reality that never changed: indoor food, by the nature of its actual existence, helped spread the virus.

recently Report good After the masks and other restrictions were lifted by the CDC, on-premises restaurants increased cases daily and increased mortality between 40 and 100 days. However other settings have turned into super-spreading events – funerals, weddings and large indoor events – Many Community outbreaks have detected them The roots In restaurants and bars.

“Masks will help protect people in an indoor setting in general, but because people remove masks while eating,” Christine Kay, professor of epidemiology and ecosystem health at the University of California, Davis. “There are no barriers to stop transmission,” Johnson said.

Not all governments have seen restaurant employees as “essential”, even restaurants have been a very active part of American food chains – from half-open spaces to operations to Cook For the needy people – throughout the epidemic. The National Restaurant Association helped the CDC state that food service workers should be included in the priority groups of workers to vaccinate, although not all states followed the guidelines.

Almost every state of the nation has Accelerated its vaccination program, Targeting almost all adult populations.

“Most people in our government considered the restaurant an unprofessional luxury,” said Chicago’s well-known litterateur Rick Bayless, whose staff had shut down all vaccines for weeks to get shots of workers. “I think it’s small. Mankind is at its core social level and when we deny that aspect of our nature, we harm ourselves. Restaurants provide much-needed service. It’s a safe form. Can be done, but to reduce the risk to our employees, we should prioritize vaccination. ”

Texas did not designate any workers in health care and education as early vaccine recipients, but is now open to all.

“The state leadership decided to ignore our industry as well as grocery workers,” said Michael Fojtasek, owner of Olami in Austin. “Now that our state leadership has decided to take a masked mandate while not giving us the opportunity to vaccinate, it has made it a truly challenging access issue.” For now, a takeout sandwich has turned into a business, and will not be reopened until every worker gets a bullet, he said.

Many restaurant owners, however, said they are going their own way with the rules, and customers often take them there. “There’s a lot of shade that if you open and you don’t have six feet apart,” said Don Miller, owner of a small chain in the county line, Texas and New Mexico.

In addition, their locations require masks and can be placed at the hostess station to “forget” them. However, most of his young workforce will likely wait a long time for a jab. “I think it’s important for them to get vaccinated,” he said. “It did not resonate with them because it was not available for that age group.”

The restaurant industry has many more Latvian immigrant workers than most other occupations, and some fear registration for the vaccine is complicated to reopen. Many activists at Danielle Leonie’s Phoenix Restaurant, Breadfruit and Rum Bar, Declined unemployment insurance, and survived signing up for a shot. “You have to enter your name and date of birth and email before you can even make an appointment,” Ms Leoni said. “Those are questions that are preventive for people trying to keep a low profile.”

In Charleston, Mr. Shemtov was inspired by accounts of a vaccination program in Israel that was considered successful in part because the government took the vaccine to job sites. “If people can’t get appointments, then let’s bring them to us.”

Other restaurants are dedicating hours to make sure workers know how to sign up, locate leftover shots, and networking with their peers. Some offer time for a shot and a recovery period for side effects.

“We don’t want them to choose between an hour of salary or commentary,” said Katie ButtonCurate and owner of La Bodega in Asheville, NC

Still some owners are not taking chances. “If we go out of business because we’re one of the few restaurants in Arizona that won’t reopen, so be it,” Ms. Leoni said. “There is nothing more important than someone else’s health or safety.”

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