An employee of a popular Starbucks store in downtown Seattle has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the company announced Friday.
The store, which is a Starbucks Reserve bar, has been closed for cleaning and the employee is quarantined at home, said Starbucks. It is the first case of American coronavirus reported by Starbucks.
“We quickly activated our protocols, immediately closing the store and initiating deep cleaning overnight, following all guidelines recommended by public health authorities in the city of Seattle and King County,” said a statement from the society.
Starbucks plans to reopen the store at 1305 1st Ave.,which will be made up of employees “who have no known impact from COVID-19.” The store is expected to reopen in the coming days, the company told USA TODAY.
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Starbucks asked employees to increase cleaning at all of its stores and announced on Wednesday that it was temporarily suspend the use of reusable cups on fears of coronavirus.
The company said it is taking what it learned from China in planning its response. In Friday’s statement, Starbucks said if more workers are affected, more places may need to be closed for deep cleanings.
Seattle, home of the coffee giant, is home to the first and largest coronavirus epidemic in the United States. Washington State has recorded more than 80 cases and 14 deaths. Most of the deaths are related to a nursing home in a Seattle suburb.
With the spread of public fear, the first signs of economic distress and disruption begin to surface as consumers lean in to protect themselves and their families.
Also in the Seattle area, two Microsoft employees were diagnosed with the coronavirus. The company encouraged employees to work from home if possible.
Microsoft announced Thursday that it will continue to pay hourly workers in the Seattle area and California during the coronavirus epidemic.
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