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Spread of the Delta variant possibly impacting return to the office

Spread of the Delta variant possibly impacting return to the office
Spread of the Delta variant possibly impacting return to the office((Source: WMC))
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the quick spread of the Delta variant in the Mid-South, will remote workers still be asked to return to the office?

As the world works to return to some sort of normalcy, some companies are planning to bring employees back into the office.

Big Memphis-based businesses like International Paper and FedEx say safety is the top priority.

“Our Memphis-area offices have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with the majority of our employees still working remotely. We are working under with the new CDC guidelines and developing a plan to return more staff to the office safely, " said spokesperson for International Paper.

Safety is the highest priority at FedEx, and that includes a continued focus on the well-being of our team members during these unprecedented times. Where possible, many of our team members are continuing to work remotely at this time. Each FedEx operating company is continually evaluating its specific business needs and the needs of its workforce to determine the best path forward,” said spokesperson for FedEx.

Small business ad agency, Hemline, says they have a return date in mind.

“We’ve been talking on our Zoom calls about the plan for everyone to start coming back in August,” said Kelley Morice, partner and owner of Hemline Advertising Agency.

Morice said her and her business partner are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant numbers that will determine their course of action.

“[It] depends on what your office is. I mean if your office is outdoor work, I think you’re great. I mean particularly if you’re vaccinated,” said Baptist Infectious Disease Expert, Dr. Steve Threlkeld.

Threlkled also said ventilation and the number of vaccinated employees also factor in.

Morice said all her employees are vaccinated, but if the spread continues, Hemline may consider pushing back their return date.

“We are always talking COVID and what’s next, and where is it? And this Delta variant has been on our radar and so who knows truly what will happen August 15,” Morice said.

The Shelby County Health Department says fewer than 10 percent of the Delta variant cases are from people who are fully vaccinated and with the variant being 50 to 60 percent more transmissible, they urge residents to get vaccinated.

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