Restaurants across the country have been closing in recent days as COVID cases are on the rise again, and the highly contagious variant of Omicron could cause a big problem in many people’s vacation plans.
Franklin Barbecue became one of the first high-profile Austin restaurants to be affected by the recent surge. The barbecue restaurant posted on Instagram Monday night that it would be closing for the weekend following positive COVID-19 tests from multiple employees.
The restaurant’s co-founder, Aaron Franklin, said about 1/3 of his staff had tested positive for COVID-19, leaving the restaurant with too few employees to get through the week of service. The restaurant expects to reopen on Tuesday.
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“Everybody is completely satisfied and most of them get a boost,” Aaron Franklin told the American-Statesman of his employees. “Thank goodness they are! All the symptoms are mild. I can’t believe how quickly it spread in the restaurant.”
Franklin Barbecue had moved to takeout only during the pandemic, only reopening its dining room on November 23.
Japanese restaurant Kome, which is open for takeout only until February, announced on Saturday that it had temporarily closed due to positive tests with the staff. The restaurant was intended to reopen on Monday, but posted an update on Monday saying it would remain closed until it could be properly staffed.
Health officials on Monday registered 3,086 people in the hospital for COVID-19 statewide, according to the American-Statesman.
“Coronavirus data and hospital trends for COVID-19 released Monday indicated that health officials would maintain the community threat level at Stage 3,” the American-Statesman reported Monday. Adding that “the community transmission rate, which tracks new cases per 100,000 people for seven days, was 113.6 on Monday. Stage 3 territory is when the rate is between 10 and 49.”
At least one restaurant in the city has preemptively closed its doors in hopes of preventing the spread of the virus. East Austin Korean restaurant Oseyo posted just before Franklin Barbecue that it would close through Sunday in hopes of avoiding the surge.
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“We are on hiatus this week. Given the recent spike in COVID cases and how contagious the new strain is, we are committed to protecting our team and want to minimize Oseyo’s role in possible community spread,” wrote the owner Lynn Miller. On Instagram. “We hope to reopen next week with additional protocols to support the safety of all who enter space. We will see you soon.”