An employee of a popular Starbucks store in downtown Seattle has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the company said late Friday.
The store was shut down for cleaning and the employee is quarantined at home, Starbucks said. This is the first case reported by Starbucks.
“We quickly activated our protocols, immediately closing the store and initiating a deep clean overnight, following all recommended guidelines from the City of Seattle and King County public health authorities,” according to a company statement.
Starbucks plans to reopen the store which will be staffed by employees “who have no known impact from COVID-19.”
Coronavirus panic spreads:Costco is banning free samples over COVID-19
Starbucks has instructed employees to increase cleaning of its stores and on Wednesday announced it was temporarily pausing the use of reusable cups over coronavirus fears.
Seattle, headquarters of the coffee giant, is ground zero of the first and largest outbreak of the coronavirus in the United States. Washington state has seen more than 80 cases and 14 deaths. Most of the deaths have been linked to nursing home in a Seattle suburb.
With public fear spreading, early signs of economic distress and disruption are beginning to surface as consumers hunker down at home to keep themselves and their families safe.
Also in the Seattle area, two Microsoft employees were diagnosed with the coronavirus. The company has encouraged employees to work from home if possible.
Microsoft said Thursday it would continue to pay hourly service workers in the Seattle area and California during the coronavirus outbreak.
These cleaners kill coronavirus:Lysol, Clorox, Purell products make EPA’s disinfectants list