By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With COVID cases climbing, local businesses have to once again wonder how they’ll be impacted.

Many are still feeling the original effects of the pandemic. And for some, that includes a worker shortage.

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With not enough workers, that’s why Sergio’s has turned to a robot named Astro.

Sergio’s CEO Carlos Gazitua said two of 13 locations remain closed because of a worker shortage that began after COVID’s emergence.

“Unfortunately, we can’t service everyone,” he said. “Thirty percent of our dining rooms are closed because don’t have staffing to meet the demand.”

Sergio’s Astrorobot in action. (CBS4)

At first, Gazitua said workers were scared to come in. Now with the delta variant rearing its ugly head, people are once again skittish.

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“We say every month a new drama, new crisis… two steps forward, one step back,” he said. “That’s the case with delta variant.”

Nerves remain frayed, especially when you consider the White House just announced one-third of all US COVID-19 cases reported in the past week were in just two states: Texas and Florida.

But according to the general counsel for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, there’s no need to fear the measures New York City plans to take with its so-called vaccine passport to get into restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues.

“It’s against the law in Florida. The governor will not change his position,” said Samantha Padgett. “No passport for customers and guests.”

The general counsel also added she doesn’t anticipate any more shutdowns.

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Giving hope, despite ASTRO’s coolness, that more humans will soon be back working and dining out. Team