Cedar Crest Furloughs Student Staffers

Alexa Sales, a student at KHS, discusses being furloughed by her employer



Alexa Sales, a sophomore at Kinnelon High School, works at the restaurant in the local senior living community, Cedar Crest. Her employer recently informed her that the restaurant is closed and that she must stop working there for the time being because of the danger to senior citizens posed by contact with workers who could potentially be harboring COVID-19.

Heidi Scherer-Blake: Where do you work and how long have you worked there?

Alexa Sales: I work at Cedar Crest as a waitress in the restaurant overlook. I’ve been working there for a little more than a year.


HSB: What precautions is your place of employment taking now because of COVID-19? 

AS: [Cedar Crest] isn’t open so the people that are actually working there are delivering food. They’re taking precautions by wearing gloves and wearing masks when delivering food and making sure to drop off the food and not touch any of the residents or the bag.


HSB: How long do you think the restaurant will be closed?

AS: I think it’ll be closed for at least another two months because I think someone has it in the Cedar Crest community now. And since the coronavirus is mainly affecting elders we don’t want it to spread among them. So it’ll probably be a while.

Editor’s Note: The Colt Chronicle reached out to an employee at Erickson Living, the corporation that owns and manages Cedar Crest, who confirmed that, as of April 10, four members of the Cedar Crest community had tested positive for COVID-19. 


HSB: How do you feel about not going to work?

AS: At first I thought it was good because I got a chance to take a break from work since I work a lot during the week. But then, it got kind of got annoying because that’s the place where I get my money from. And this is bad because I’m trying to save money for when I’m older or in case of an emergency. I need money to support myself.


HSB: How has your job closing affected you?

AS: Well I mean, I’m not getting paid so that is really bad because I want to save up money for college and for the summertime. Now, I really can’t.


HSB: Do you think this will have a negative impact or a positive impact?

AS: I don’t necessarily think it’s positive because many people could die, so I think it is a very negative situation. Especially since we work with so many elders. It must be really hard for the people at work who aren’t getting paid and need the money.


HSB: Do you miss anything or anybody at work?

AS: I miss a lot of my friends, I have a lot of people at work that I’ve grown really close with. A few of my friends that I’ve been working with since the beginning of when I started I talk to on Snapchat or Instagram. But there are some [friends] that I only talk to when I’m at work so it’s kind of hard to not be able to see them. But I’ll eventually see them again and I guess it gives me more of a reason and more topics to talk about with them when they get back since I haven’t seen them in a really long time.


HSB: What do you think is going to happen to your job?

AS: I think once we start working there again my work and everybody else needed will still take precautions as we do with ‘the Flu Procedure.’ This is basically bringing them creamers and butter to the guests when they need it instead of leaving it on the table. And they will probably enforce the workers to wash our hands before we even touch the food. But I guess we will have to see.


HSB: What does your family think of this situation?

AS: They believe it is good my job is doing this because teenagers could be carriers and they want me to be safe. Before my restaurant even closed they made sure that I had called out so I wasn’t at work. My family didn’t want me to give the virus to anybody or if someone else had it they didn’t want me to get it. So they played it safe.


HSB: How do you feel about the COVID-19 virus itself?

AS: I think that we all need to take precautions and stay home and try our best to make sure we’re just going out to get stuff we need. We need to keep social distancing ourselves and make sure we’re all keeping safe and being cautious.