SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – If you haven’t already, you may soon find omicron impacting your favorite restaurant or business.

Many businesses are dealing with more and more people calling out sick because of a positive COVID test or exposure.

“It’s super stressful, it’s emotionally stressful. It throws everything else out the window,” Laurie Thomas said. 

Nearly two years into the pandemic, COVID, specifically the omicron variant, is causing some businesses to close their doors, again, temporarily.

Executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and small restaurant owner, Laurie Thomas says it’s made her consider quitting.

“I’m being honest with you, there’s real, emotional stress that manifests in different ways and we just really need to help each other and we need everybody to understand our industry is really suffering,” Thomas said. “We had to make the decision to close this morning because we just didn’t have kitchen staff available.”

Thomas says making the decision to close because of low staffing can be difficult.

All her staff is vaccinated and boosted but still caught the virus. 

She says since about Christmas many restaurants have been struggling with high rates of COVID or exposures among staff.

“Not only do you lose revenue but you might have to throw food away so you have waste on top of loss of revenue. You may or may not have the ability to pay your staff,” Thomas said. 

She says her closed restaurant, Terzo, will be paying their employees during the closure but that’s not always feasible.

“All the federal sick leave programs have expired, all the state sick leave programs have expired,” Thomas said. “We really need the restaurant revitalization funding topped off by Congress.”

She says if you are wondering if your favorite restaurant is open, call or check social media. Things change day by day.

If you want to help the restaurant while they’re closed, she says buy a gift card. She’s also asking for customers patience

“Also then just be understanding,” Thomas said. 

She says it still maybe a few weeks of restaurants and businesses closing temporarily.

“We know that we’re about two weeks behind new york and we’re starting to see new york come down. I think we’re two more weeks of a very rough go and the hoping that things can level off,” Thomas said.