For many people, COVID-19 is no longer something that they think about every day. The pandemic officially ended earlier this year. But that doesn't mean the illness still isn't lurking, causing big problems for local businesses.

KCRG reports that as of early December, around 18% of Laby Survey PCR COVID tests came back positive. Dr. Dustin Arnold, the Chief Medical Officer at St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids told KCRG that COVID numbers are on the way up.

We’ve seen an increase in the number of patients with COVID, down a little bit from the week before, but an increase from earlier in the fall, which would not be unexpected this time of year.

And when those increased numbers hit all at once, it can spell big trouble for local businesses. Just ask Collins Road Theater owner Bruce Taylor. He had to shut down the theater for a week after 9 people out of his staff of 16 tested positive for COVID. He told KCRG that business went from "60 to 0 overnight." He lost out on one week's profit which Taylor says makes it hard to pay the bills.

Dr. Arnold says that the best thing you can do is to follow the existing prevention guidelines. Cover your cough, clean your hands, and stay home when you are sick. KCRG reports that Collins Road Theaters did reopen to the public on Thursday, Employees are wearing masks and regularly disinfecting to prevent any further spreading of the illness.

Iowans Share Their Random Celebrity Encounters

Iowans Share Their Favorite Photos of 2023

We asked listeners to share their favorite photos of 2023! Here are some of our favorite submissions.

Gallery Credit: Courtlin

More From 94.1 KRNA