Business keeping customers, employees safe amid omicron

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Posted at 10:13 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 05:28:07-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Thirteen cases of the omicron variant are now confirmed in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Two of those cases are in Detroit and two more are in other parts of Wayne County.

With a rush of last-minute holiday shoppers, how are metro Detroit businesses keeping people safe?

The co-owner of City Bird said he loves the holiday foot traffic. At the same time, he said he carefully monitors how many people are in the store at once.

"If it does get a little too full, we do come out and stop people from coming in for a little while," Andy Linn said.

Linn, who also co-owns Nest, efforts putting health and safety before profits. He said staff at both Midtown Detroit stores haven’t let up and are still taking COVID-19 seriously 22 months into the pandemic.

“We’re definitely watching the omicron situation carefully. It’s definitely a point of concern for us and our staff. We do require vaccination for all employees," Linn explained.

That includes getting the booster. In addition, he said staff members are required to mask up. They also test frequently.

"And if anyone exhibits a symptom of any kind, even like a sore throat or runny nose, we get tested immediately. It’s actually amazing we have not had a single case of COVID on our staff of 17 people during the entire pandemic. So, knock on wood. I think it seems to be working," Linn said.

He says all customers are encouraged to wear a mask, especially the unvaccinated. But it’s not required since the state doesn’t mandate it.

Customer Alice Duffy says she doesn’t leave home without it.

“I tried to do a lot of my shopping online this year, kind of the same as I did last year," Duffy said. “Staying safe is really important to me. I got my booster shot just two weeks ago. And I never go out in public without a mask on."

City Bird is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 23 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

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