NEW ORLEANS — Restaurant owners across the country are being forced to lay off staff members because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and New Orleans is no different. 

Watch below as Chef Greg Reggio of Zea and Semolina talks about the devastating loss of business due to the coronavirus isolation. He has laid off 75 percent of his workers, he says.

"Younger workers and folks that are in the hospitality industry, they don't necessarily have that nest egg that they can be out of work for one or two weeks at a time, Reggio said. 

"That paycheck is important, especially for the front of the house workers. They really rely on those tips... So it is a real hurt to those individuals."

Reggio says because of Hurricane Katrina, he has a emergency fund to provide for some leeway, but not much. Unlike Katrina, he says, this is happening everywhere and customers from out of town cannot come in to support business. 

His restaurants are still open and offering curbside food pick up.  

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What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure.

Worldwide illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including severe pneumonia that can result in hospitalization or death. 

Older people and people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or cancer seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.

People with recent travel to China, or have come in contact with someone who has recent travel and is ill, have a greater risk for becoming ill.

What to do if you are sick:

If you recently traveled to an area affected by COVID-19 transmission, and you feel sick, stay home and call your doctor immediately. Do not go to the doctor without calling first.

If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the Louisiana Department of Health hotline at 1-855-523-2652. 

If you are severely ill and you think you need to go to the hospital, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.

How to Prevent the Spread:

The virus is thought to spread between people in close contact (within 6 feet) and through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Wash hands with soap and water often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Especially wash hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home if you feel sick to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Cover your cough with your elbow to prevent the spread of germs.

Treatments for COVID-19:

There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. People with coronavirus should be treated with supportive care to help relieve symptoms. 

Some severe cases require going to the hospital, particularly in the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.

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