Bus Drivers, School Food Workers, Retired Teachers Asked to Step Into Classrooms Amid Omicron Wave

More than half a million Americans are being diagnosed with COVID-19 every day, causing staffing shortages across every industry.

More than half a million Americans are being diagnosed with COVID-19 every day as the Omicron variant rages on. And that's led to massive staff shortages in almost every industry.   

It seems like everyone knows someone with COVID-19 right now, and that includes a number of well-known personalities.

“Today” host Hoda Kotb joined the growing list of TV personalities hit with the virus. “Fox and Friends” host Steve Doocy was back on the air Thursday after a bout with COVID, and it sounds as if he's still recovering.

“It pretty much went through our whole family. I got it. my wife got it,” Doocy said.

His son, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, also tested positive. 

Musician John Mayer also just announced he has COVID-19 and canceled all upcoming concerts. 

The Omicron surge is sparking a nationwide “sick out” that's affecting every aspect of life in America. Hundreds of stores and restaurants have been forced to cut back on their hours  or close altogether.

“Restaurants are in panic mode right now, because they don’t have enough staff to open restaurants on time or serve people as they would like to,” Fox Business Network correspondent Cheryl Casone said.

Rachel Wyman, owner of popular New Jersey bakery Montclair Bread, says she was forced to shut down when a quarter of her staff tested positive for COVID-19. It has since reopened.

“We've fought so hard for the last two years. We didn't close at all. And then this hits and it’s just crippling,” Wyman said.

Schools are also struggling.

In Miami, a staggering 1,700 teachers called in sick Thursday. It was all hands on deck — even the district superintendent filled in as a substitute science teacher. 

In Michigan, food workers and school bus drivers are stepping in to supervise classes.

In New Jersey, they're offering retired teachers not just their retirement pay, but also a salary on top of that if they return to the classroom, Casone said.

The surge in cases is also affecting professional sports. 

The NFL reportedly has a contingency plan in the unlikely event they have to move the Super Bowl next month out of Los Angeles. One possible backup site is AT&T stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that a new record of 9.5 million cases of COVID-19 were reported around the world over the last week alone.

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