WINDSOR (KPIX 5) – The COVID-19 omicron surge is causing some businesses in the Bay Area to close their doors, and the North Bay is no exception.

Employees testing positive and protocols for those who have come in contact with someone that’s positive is creating a huge staff shortage.

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Russian River Brewing Company announced that it is closing both of its locations in Windsor and Santa Rosa on Wednesday and Thursday, as it becomes a victim of the omicron surge.

Owner Natalie Cilurzo told KPIX 5, “We’re standing here at our Windsor brewpub and I had to make the executive decision this morning about 9 a.m. to close for today and tomorrow because we are so short staffed.”

The hospitality industry has already been struggling to hire workers. Russian River is hoping by closing down for a couple of days, it will buy time to regroup and then reopen by Friday.

“I think what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I think the last couple of years has made us a lot more resilient and a lot stronger,” Cilurzo said.

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This comes as businesses are having to keep up with new rules coming down from the Centers for Disease Control and California Department of Public Health.

On Wednesday, CDPH just extended the mask mandate for another month.

“We’re looking at masking as such an important feature to keep California safe, doing what we can to implore our plight with cases,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said.

Russian River Brewing Company has been complying with the ever-changing regulations and has required boosters for all employees. Mask mandates will also be enforced but there are concerns about how well it works.

Cilurzo added, “I don’t know how effective it is in a restaurant environment because for the most part our employees are dealing with unmasked customers. We are waiting on people who are not wearing masks because you do not have to, you can’t wear a mask when you’re eating and drinking.”

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Russian River fans may be wondering if the company will continue to hold its annual Pliny the Younger event, currently scheduled for early February. The brewery said it did consider canceling but decided against it saying everybody needs something to look forward to.