You’re not alone. All across the U.S., the flu season is forcing small business owners to scramble to cover shifts, according to AP.

“Human resources consultants have been hearing from company owners overwhelmed by flu-related absences. In its latest report, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 35 states had moderate to high levels of flu cases. More than 5 percent of people seeking medical help complained of flu-like symptoms during the week ended Feb. 11, up from a baseline of 2.2 percent, the CDC said.”

Animation: The brown states represent those with widespread cases of the flu.

With the flu season expected to last into the spring, employees should be encouraged to work at home if they’re not feeling well, and to get flu shots if they haven’t already done so. Some companies will bring in medical personnel to administer shots onsite.

Now is also the time to create backup plans, designating which staffers will cover for others. Some owners might also want to think in advance about arranging to get temporary help if needed.

Animation: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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