Coronavirus BRIEFING
Supported by Essilor

Crisis Response Tactics

What’s the Future of Events? Trends Shift as COVID Rages on

By Staff
Monday, January 24, 2022 12:04 AM If your event gets canceled, you have to put on the digital marketer’s hat and start using the toolkit. Because you can't rely on the serendipity and the magic of an in-person experience anymore. You have to be able to go back to the digital tools that personalized [attendees’] experiences.

Transitions Optical and OneSight Help Increase Accessibility to Vision Care Services and Education to Students

By Staff
Friday, January 21, 2022 12:15 AM PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and committing to the importance of EssilorLuxottica’s foundational values under diversity, Transitions Optical’s Diversity Advisory Board partnered with OneSight to host a one-day vision clinic. OneSight is an independent non-profit committed to eliminating the global vision care crisis. The organization’s primary sponsor, EssilorLuxottica, is equally dedicated to this commitment. The clinic provided free eye exams and dispensing services for students on Friday, January 14, 2022, at Deerwood Elementary in Kissimmee, Fla.

Lonely? Get in Line. A COVID Test Line.

By Staff
Thursday, January 20, 2022 12:04 AM There is this great spirit that says we are going to get through this together. It made me happy to see people being kind to each other. That’s all we can do right now.

The Omicron Surge Compounds Retail Sector’s Worker Shortage

By Staff
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 4:02 PM Retailers across the U.S. are being forced to adjust their brick-and-mortar strategies as the spread of the omicron variant exacerbates the pressure on already stretched staff, according to a recent feature from eMarketer. Walmart, Starbucks, Macy’s, and Apple are just a few of the retailers that have either reduced store hours or temporarily closed locations in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. 

Pandemic-induced burnout has hit many industries hard, as the number of people quitting reaches record highs. This, coupled with omicron’s highly contagious nature, has wreaked havoc on retailers’ ability to maintain business as usual. A record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of that number, 686,000 left retail jobs, leaving the industry with a 4.4 percent quit rate (the number of people quitting as a proportion of total employment). Meanwhile, the overall quit rate hit 3 percent matching the high previously seen in September 2021.

In addition to facing increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, retail workers are also reporting low morale due to severe staffing crunches, lack of hazard pay, and rising numbers of in-store shoppers. 

As a result, retailers are overhauling their in-store experience on the fly by adjusting hours and adding more self-service options. For example, ShopRite recently rolled out an automated pickup pod that provides consumers in New Rochelle, N.Y., with a contactless way to retrieve their online grocery orders. That type of technology can reduce the retailer’s reliance on store employees and may drive an increase in online shopping.

Your Boss Wants You Back in the Office Despite COVID. Here’s Why.

By Staff
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:04 AM People like the hybrid model [of office work], but the thought that offices are dead is far from reality. Offices will be an important component for companies going forward.

The Journey of a COVID Test

By Staff
Tuesday, January 18, 2022 11:13 AM For a myriad of reasons, Americans across the country are experiencing significant delays in COVID test results. From shipping delays to employees having to call out sick with COVID themselves, things are disrupted at every level. Head over to WebMD to learn about the journey of a COVID test: how it gets from your nose to the lab and back, and some of the other reasons why results are taking so long right now. 

Another Victim of the Pandemic—U.S. Donor Blood Supply Is Running Low

By Staff
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 4:15 PM The Red Cross on Tuesday declared a national donor blood shortage in the U.S.—the first of its kind—saying that the lack of blood is the worst it has seen in more than a decade. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the decline in donations that goes along with the colder season, as blood drives continue to be canceled across the nation and staff shortages reached the organization.

The Red Cross said that a 10 percent decline in blood donors due to the pandemic has led to hospital demand not being met and its reserves of critical blood types, for example type O, having been diminished to a one-day supply. While the Red Cross is responsible for around 40 percent of U.S. donor blood, the situation looks similar at independent blood distribution centers, responsible for around 60 percent of donated blood. 

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How to Make Sense of Omicron and Changing COVID Protocols

By Staff
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 8:00 AM If you're confused about guidance on the Omicron coronavirus variant, which seems to change almost daily at this point, you are not alone. The widely reported, record-breaking jump in daily cases seems easy to understand. Beyond that, many unanswered questions remain.

COVID Tests, Blindness, and Accessibilty

By Staff
Tuesday, January 11, 2022 11:06 AM At-home COVID tests, a treasure when you can find them, make life more convenient for many of us—but for blind or low vision people, finding the tests is just the first hurdle. At-home COVID tests mostly use visual cues and include directions that you have to adhere to perfectly with no Braille guidance. Head over to The New York Times to learn more about the inaccessibility of at-home COVID tests, and what steps we can take to make the tests work for everyone.

Making Sure Your Masks Are Authentic

By Staff
Friday, January 7, 2022 11:35 AM Because the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is so transmissible, now is a good time to ensure your masks are giving you as much protection as possible. Head over to HuffPost to learn more about what kinds of masks experts are now recommending, and how to make sure that you buy authentic, protective masks. 

Walmart Temporarily Shut Nearly 60 U.S. Stores for COVID Cleaning in December

By Staff
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 12:04 AM We’ve been closely monitoring our stores across the country, making the decision to temporarily close locations on a store-by-store basis through a collection of market-related data.

New CDC COVID-19 Isolation Guidelines Still Up for Debate Among Experts

By Staff
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 9:02 AM It's a true Goldilocks debate: A week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines—lowering isolation time—healthcare experts continue to debate the changes, with some calling them suitable, some saying they're "reckless," and at least one expert saying they're "right in the middle."

CDC Defends New COVID Guidance as Doctors Raise Concerns

By Staff
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 8:02 AM The CDC's recently updated guidance on isolating and testing were tied to the public's increased interest in testing, Director Rochelle Walenksy, MD, said during a White House briefing in Wednesday. Health officials recently shortened the recommended COVID-19 isolation and quarantine period from 10 days to 5, creating confusion amid an outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, which now accounts for 95 percent of cases in the U.S.

COVID-Positive or Exposed? What to Do Next

By Staff
Thursday, December 30, 2021 9:03 AM With new cases of COVID-19 skyrocketing to more than 240,000 a day recently in the U.S., many people are facing the same situation: A family member or friend tests positive or was exposed to someone who did, and the holiday gathering, visit, or return to work is just days or hours away. Now what?

COVID-19 Antigen Tests May Be Less Sensitive to Omicron: FDA

By Staff
Thursday, December 30, 2021 9:02 AM Rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 might be less effective at detecting the Omicron variant that is spreading rapidly across the United States, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).