By Nick Starling

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Restaurants and bars have struggled during the pandemic as shutdowns and lack of customers have hampered their operations.

Lately, many have had a hard time keeping staff working, and now, from getting sick as COVID-19 continues to ravage through the DFW metroplex.

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At Alexandre’s in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood, owner Lee Daugherty said the staff wanted to close down for a month after an employee tested positive weeks ago.

Restaurants and bars like Alexandre’s in Oak Lawn are closing to protect workers as COVID-19 cases rise. (credit: Nick Starling/CBSDFW.com)

“I backed their proposal, I think it was the safest and best thing for us to do. Of course it hurts financially, of course it hurts them financially, but you know in order to keep everyone safe and do our part to minimizing transmission it was the right decision,” said Daugherty, “This thing is spiraling and exponentially growing so fast that workers especially need to make their own decision.”

Daugherty wants this to be a wake up call for workers to fight for their health as more and more people in the community become sick. “Hopefully what comes out of this is workers meet with their management, their owners and their bosses and say listen, this is what we want, this is what’s going to make us feel safe.”

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Other restaurants like Bonnell’s in Fort Worth closed down after six employees got sick. They’ve since reopened.

At Burgers N’ Beyond in Fort Worth, they too have felt the strain when workers are out.

“It’s hard on us, we had to pay others to cover her shift, her shift in the morning and the other in the evening,” said owner Ali Altaher.

As for Alexandre’s, after this month, Daugherty said they’ll take it week by week to see if COVID-19 cases drop to make sure it’s safe for everybody to grab a drink and have fun.

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“We’ll be able to party in the future, we just can’t right now,” added Daugherty.