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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Companies are experiencing different degrees of impact from the recent COVID spike.

Why it matters: While many businesses have adapted to new realities and many people have become fully vaccinated, Delta's spread is proving somewhat disruptive.

What they’re saying: In the past week, a number of companies have addressed questions regarding the spike since the beginning of the third quarter.

  • Southwest Airlines warned of a sharp deterioration in business in recent weeks, a challenge that is affecting all airlines.
  • Airbnb, however, said, "in the last few weeks, we had our biggest night ever in the U.S. and our biggest night globally since the pandemic began."
  • Aramark, which provides on-site food services, says the disruption is "really limited mostly to companies and their return-to-work strategies." Though executives don’t think it’ll impact colleges, sporting arenas and entertainment venues.
  • Foodservice competitor Sysco shared that sentiment, noting it did not experience any impact in July tied to Delta. However, CEO Kevin Hourican cautioned that they couldn’t predict whether the government might step in with new restrictions.
  • Casper Sleep president Emilie Arel said Tuesday that people were still out shopping, saying, "To date, we are seeing week-over-week improvements on foot traffic."
  • Bumble has experienced no slowdown in activity on its dating app. "When COVID accelerates and loneliness climbs, people turn to us for connections," Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd said on Wednesday.

The big picture: "With the rise in mortality and hospitalization rates expected to be far smaller than during the second wave, we expected policy restrictions to be limited and the turn towards caution by the private sector to be more modest," says JPMorgan chief economist Bruce Kasman.

Yes, but: Callaway Golf CEO Chip Brewer warns that U.S. demand isn’t the issue.

  • "It has caused further supply disruptions from factories based in and around Southeast Asia, primarily Vietnam," Brewer said. "These shutdowns will have an estimated $55 million negative impact on second-half revenues."

Go deeper

Oct 22, 2021 - Health

CDC director: U.S. may change definition of "fully vaccinated" as boosters roll out

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday the U.S. "may need to update" its definition for what it means to have full vaccination against COVID.

The big picture: The CDC and the FDA have officially approved boosters with every authorized vaccine in the U.S. for people who meet specific requirements. Walensky explained that since not everyone is eligible for a booster, the definition has not been changed "yet."

Oct 20, 2021 - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5–11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of 5 and 11, pending authorization from the FDA of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, and tens of thousands of pharmacies to administer the shots.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.