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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

Nov 20, 2021 - Sports

Australian Open to require players to be vaccinated against COVID

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates against Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the men's singles final during day 14 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Feb. 21. Photo: TPN/Getty Images

The Australian Open will require tennis players to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus for the tournament in January, tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed in an interview, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The requirement concludes months of "mixed messages from Australian government officials" on whether or not to implement a vaccine mandate, the Times writes.

A pandemic victim: Ethical supply chains

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Over the last decade, global companies have put in place elaborate policies to ensure their suppliers protect worker safety and human rights. They're struggling to comply with those policies in the pandemic.

Driving the news: COVID-era disruptions have caused a spike in noncompliance with health and safety rules, according to new data from Qima, which audits supply chains.

Public schools staffing is on the brink of collapse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The public school system is hanging by a thread as staff are stressed, burned out and thinking of quitting more than ever before.

Why it matters: Staffing shortages are leading school districts to look for "bodies in a room to babysit kids" as last-ditch efforts to keep their doors open, one education researcher told Axios.