Longer Quarantines for Covid-19

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- “The impact to us would be devastating” said Charlie’s BBQ & and Bakery co-owner Wes Agee.

Local businesses are concerned over the possibility of losing staff members for close to a month.

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This is after the Tennessee Department of Health issued a new quarantine guidance.

If a person in a home is exposed to covid-19, everyone in the household will become a Covid-19 case and undergo a 10 day isolation.

While the initial case can be released from isolation after 10 days with no symptoms, the remainder of the household must complete another 14 days of quarantine.

It’s a reality that Agee and Elizabeth St. Clair cannot fathom,

“Because of lack of people, lack of employees -having such a hard time- we would literally have to shut our doors.”

The owner of Greek Plate Gyros, Brian Balla, tells News 12 that he just opened shop last week and if he were to lose one of his employees for up to a month, it’s the worst case scenario.”

“When we get busy everybody is essential. So if one person was missing it’d be like trying to drive your car with three wheels.”

Balla worries about keeping his staff safe.

He is also on high alert for anyone who walks through his doors, “You don’t know if a customer comes in and has a fever -it’s not like we have a scanner at door to check people. So we’re constantly nervous.”

The owners of Uncle Larry’s operate three different locations.

Although managing multiple restaurants and employees can be a challenge, it can aslo be an advantage.

“We would just have to go to our pool of people and try to adjust. We do have staff that go to each location” said Operations Manager Terrell Torrance.

Unfortunately Agee doesn’t have the same luxury.

He’s reached out to the Hamilton County Health Department for clarity.

“I can’t get a clarification on -okay so what if one my staff members gets it and they happen to be here when they’re asymptomatic, do I have to send my whole staff home.”

The state’s guidelines also requires any one to quarantine for 14 days following the last date of contact with an exposed case.