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Starbucks Closes Cafes, Moves To Drive-Thru Only Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The company will also continue to pay its U.S. employees for the next 30 days, even if they choose to stay home, according to the press release. 

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — All company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada will switch to a drive-thru only model for at least two weeks to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

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In a press release Friday, the company announced the change, adding that exceptions will be made for cafes serving in or around hospitals and healthcare centers “in our efforts to serve first responders and health care workers.”

“The magnitude of managing through this situation is the single biggest challenge many of us have faced in our lifetime, and I am continually moved by your compassion for each other, our customers and our communities during this exceptionally difficult time,” said Starbucks’ executive vice president Rossann Williams said in a statement. “With daily news from friends and family members getting laid off and businesses closing, we need one another more than ever. We need to be a different kind of company.”

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The company will also continue to pay its U.S. employees for the next 30 days, even if they choose to stay home, according to the press release.