PHOENIX - With the reality sinking in that businesses may be closed for awhile due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, some employees are finding themselves out of a job, and facing an uncertain future.
In recent days, FOX 10 has asked state officials for updates job loss numbers, and after three days of waiting, FOX 10 was told by officials at the Department of Economic Security, which handles unemployment claims, to talk to the Department of Health Services for unemployment numbers.
Without unemployment numbers, it’s tough to know the scale and magnitude of layoffs in the Valley right now, but the number are likely daunting.
First hand accounts, however, have been far reaching, affecting nearly every industry.
"I looked at my chairs and I was like 'oh my god! these clients are in our chairs a foot away,'" said Patty Green with Jaunty Salon in Fountain Hills.
As the world adjusts to COVID-19, many are losing jobs. Green said styling hair put them and clients at risk.
"Clients don’t hesitate to come in when they have a cold or have the flu. I’ve had cleaners come in with the flu," said Green. "This is scarier because you don’t even know you have it."
With Green's decision to close, five stylists have lost their jobs.
I’m single. I’m on my own, so this is going to hurt. I do have an emergency fund, but that doesn’t last forever if this continues on," said Kelly Danner.
"I don’t know, not really a plan because you don’t think things like this happen and stay at home and self-quarantine," said another stylist, identified only as "Jane."
Larger companies are also adjusting, with Marriott placing thousands of employees on furlough. Meanwhile, Phoenix restaurants adjusted to take out only.
Yes it’s hard, because it’s not just us. It’s the whole world. There’s a lot going on, but it’s easy to sit back and play the 'why me' card. Why is this happening to me? But you can’t do it when it’s the whole world," said Thane Jackson, who is now unemployed.
"I mean, it feels terrible. I know it feels. Rent is coming up. Car loans coming up. How we going to pay these things if we can’t work?" said Jordan Sanders.
Meanwhille, Giving Tree Cafe is still open but had to lay off 15 employees.
"They’re like family to us, and it is very difficult," said David Warr. "Yes, it’s tough. It’s really tough."
Katherine Lileck says she’s lucky to hold onto her job, but knows it may not last long.
"Because things are changing by the hour, we just don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s how it was yesterday. We were waiting for the closures to start," said Lileck.
Other states have reported claims in the thousands in just the last two days.
Additional resources on the coronavirus
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
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