As omicron surges, what has closed, canceled or changed in Austin?
Are you getting déjà vu, too? COVID-19 cases are surging rapidly in Austin and around the world due to the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus. Austin already has returned to Stage 5, the strictest set of recommendations under Austin Public Health's risk-based guidelines.
Some businesses are changing the way they're operating — either out of precaution or because their staff has been infected.
For a sample of what it's like out there for the city's entertainment and hospitality industries, already fatigued by closures and restrictions since March 202, here's how a few business have responded in recent days.
Bill Miller Bar-B-Q
The barbecue joint has closed in-person dining at its Austin and San Antonio restaurants due to a staffing shortage, owners announced on Instagram. They are set to open again on Jan. 10.
The East Austin restaurant went on its "winter break" three days early, on Dec. 21, because a staff member tested positive, Eater Austin reported. The restaurant is set to reopen Jan. 11, according to their website.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
The vegetarian cafe has shortened its hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. due to the spread of the Omicron variant, they announced on Instagram.
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Komé Sushi Kitchen
The Japanese restaurant closed its doors for in-person dining in December, according to their Instagram. They are operating as a contactless, curbside take-out restaurant until further notice, according to their website.
Sam’s Town Point
The South Austin music venue announced on their Facebook page that they are closing for “a few days” as they “recover from this superbug.” They still have shows listed on their website, however.