Omicron forces CVS, Walgreens to temporarily shutter stores

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Two of the nation’s largest retail pharmacies are temporarily closing stores on weekends due to a rise within the variety of COVID-19 infections amongst staffers.

The two chains stated that the fast unfold of the Omicron variant has depleted staffing at a number of areas nationwide, affecting customer support and delaying key providers like treatment prescriptions and vaccinations.

Walgreens boasts almost 9,000 areas throughout 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. CVS operates round 10,000 pharmacies all through the nation.

Reached by the Post, a spokesperson for CVS declined to specify what number of stores have been closed and which areas have been affected.

“The vast majority of our stores are open on their normal weekend hours,” a CVS spokesperson stated.

“A small number of stores may temporarily close on one or both days of the weekend to help address acute staffing issues amidst the Omicron variant surge and a nationwide workforce shortage.”

The firm rep added: “This is a fluid, evolving situation and we do not have specific store locations to share.” 

“In the event that a pharmacy is temporarily closed, a patient can visit any open CVS Pharmacy location for assistance with their immediate prescription needs.”

The Post has additionally sought remark from Walgreens.

Signage outside a Walgreens store in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on January 7. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Walgreens, which operates some 9,000 areas throughout the United States, has additionally shuttered some stores on weekends because the Omicron variant continues to unfold.
Bloomberg by way of Getty Images

Shares of each Walgreens and CVS made modest positive factors in buying and selling on Wall Street on Friday.

Even earlier than the unfold of Omicron, the 2 chains slashed hours and elevated pay in an effort to tackle staffing shortages, which have solely been exacerbated due to file surges within the variety of COVID-19 circumstances.

An Akron, Ohio resident informed The Wall Street Journal that his spouse was compelled to go 12 hours with out prescription ache treatment as a result of their native CVS pharmacy closed on quick discover.

A Walgreens spokesperson informed the Journal: “The ongoing labor shortage, combined with the surge of Covid-19 cases, has resulted in isolated instances in which we’ve had to adjust operating hours or temporarily close a limited number of stores.”

Other giant retail chains are additionally reeling from the results of the unfold of Omicron.

Lululemon Athletica stated its vacation enterprise took a success due to staffing shortages brought on by the unfold of the variant.

Other retailers have been compelled to curtail their hours, together with Macy’s. Walmart closed 60 stores in December for 48 hours to sanitize the stores.

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