New COVID variant Omicron putting Bay Area businesses on alert

"We don't want to panic or anything but we certainly, none of us can afford a closure again."
Bay Area businesses are gearing up for the new COVID variant, Omicron.

Executive director Laurie Thomas then sent out an email Friday morning to her own employees after hearing about this new variant.

"I sent a notification out to my staff. We're not requiring the booster shot yet, but we're strongly recommending it. And I said, if you feel sick I'll pay for the next day, no questions asked," Thomas explained.

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Last Tuesday, about 1,800 members of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association received an email recommending that every employee get a COVID booster shot.

Priscilla Dosiou owns Village Rotisserie in San Francisco's Noe Valley.

"All of our staff is fully vaccinated and that's something we require when we interview or bring in any new employees on," said Dosiou.

Dr. Monica Gandhi of UCSF says there is reason to believe that the current COVID vaccines are effective against this new variant.

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"A lot of these patients were asymptomatic, that's important. Do you know why? They were fully vaccinated asymptomatic. What does that mean? That means the vaccine worked against them," she added.
According to Dr. Gandhi, "them," meaning the vaccine worked against all the variants.

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"We don't want to panic or anything but we certainly, none of us can afford a closure again," cautioned Thomas.

In late July, even though many people were vaccinated, the Delta variant left its mark on businesses. Many restaurants saw a significant drop in reservations.

Two days ago, San Francisco sent out notices automatically extending the permits required to continue operating the outdoor-shared spaces through June 30.

"We're no longer always optimistic, we're always expecting whatever comes our way and we'll deal with it, said Dosiou.

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