On Friday, March 6, Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams released a statement explaining that an employee at the 1st & University Starbucks location has been diagnosed with COVID-19. While the employee is currently in self-isolation, Williams did not disclose when they were last in contact with customers.
The store immediately initiated a deep clean overnight, following all recommended guidelines from the City of Seattle and King County public health authorities. According to Williams, public health officials have encouraged staff to re-open the store after further preventative cleaning, staffed by partners who have no known impact from COVID-19.
This news comes only a few days after the coffee-giant outlined the ways it is playing a “constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus.”
These actions included temporarily suspending the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in its stores. The company has also increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-related stores and has added paid time to its partners supporting that work.