Rise in COVID infections keeping some from returning to the office

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — With Labor Day behind us, many were expecting to return to the office with summer vacation behind us and COVID on the decline.

The uptick in COVID infection rates — spreading especially quickly in West Virginia — going back at the office seems to be on hold for many. That’s not good news for commercial landlords who lease office space and were counting on a post-Labor Day decline in office vacancies.

“I like working at home because I feel I don’t have to get dressed, but it’s better to work in the office just because it’s more professional,” said Tara Reeves, a federal government employee.

It’s not just the commercial property owners counting on rent from office space. Many small retail businesses, like sandwich shops, cafes and even gyms depend on occupied office buildings for their livelihoods.

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