Thousands in service industry looking for new jobs because of COVID-19 threat

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Delaina and Lily Marenghi are home on a Friday afternoon. The two would usually be at work on a Friday. But after Governor Steve Sisolak ordered non-essential businesses to close the two temporarily lost their jobs. Now they're asking "what's next?"

"I just started at this job (as a bartender) probably eight months ago and I love it so it's hard to have a job that you love and then not be able to go to that job," said Lily.

"(Getting laid off) was shocking and terrifying," her sister Delaina said. "It became clear at that moment how devastating this was going to be for our local community."

Delaina is just one server who was laid off at Whispering Vine - a local wine retailer and restaurant. She was able to file for unemployment. It's a process she said was quick and straightforward.

"My first thought after filing for unemployment was I have to get back out there in the job market because (there's uncertainty) if this minimum of 30 days is going to extend for a longer period of time," she said.

Not knowing when she'll be working next, Delaina dropped her resume off at places like Costco and Target. But other people had the same idea.

"By the time I went in there (those businesses) had already stopped hiring two days prior so it's definitely difficult," Delaina said. "People are already done hiring and we're trying to get back in there."

Her younger sister Lily has had better luck. She's a bartender at one of the casinos in town. Right now her shifts are just temporarily suspended.

"Even though I'm not technically going into work (my job) is still supplementing us with pay," she said. "Obviously it's not going to be the full thing I make but I think as a bartender you rely a lot on tips. It's definitely going to be interesting applying for jobs where I know that I'm not going to be making the same amount of money bartending that I would at a casino."

Lily said she's doing what she can to find a source of income, but seeing so many people struggling is difficult.

"Everyone I work with doesn't have a job either so I think it's comforting to know that but emotionally it's been pretty hard to figure out how to move forward."

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019