Coronavirus spurs Starbucks to temporarily suspend personal and ‘for here’ cups

(NEW YORK) — In response to global public health concerns around the coronavirus situation, Starbucks has announced new steps to help prevent the spread of germs at its stores.

For now, the coffee company said it is temporarily “pausing the use of personal cups and ‘for here’ ware in our stores.”

“We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for ‘for here’ ware,” Starbucks said in a press release.

Starbucks also said it learned more from the leadership team and partners in China, who were first faced with the epidemic, and shared more details about other precautionary actions.

“Our focus remains on two key priorities: Caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus,” the company said.

In addition to the reusable cup program, Starbucks said it has taken other steps in response to the public health impact.

They are taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities and increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs. They also added paid time for partners supporting this work.

Starbucks has provided scenario-based procedural information to its store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision-making support.

The coffee chain also “restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31.”

Large meetings across offices in the U.S. and Canada have also been modified or postponed.

So far, 11 people in the United States have died from the newly identified virus, known officially as COVID-19, which emerged in China back in December and has since spread to dozens of other countries.

Coronavirus has now infected more than 93,000 people globally and has claimed over 3,000 lives.

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