Starbucks closed its First Avenue and University Street store in downtown Seattle on Thursday after learning that one of the store’s 13 employees had been diagnosed with COVID-19, the company announced Friday.
It’s the first COVID-19 diagnosis of a Starbucks employee in the United States and the first coronavirus-related closure of an American Starbucks, a spokesperson said.
The First and University location, a Starbucks Reserve store near the Seattle Art Museum, was subjected to a deep cleaning overnight and is scheduled to reopen Sunday with staff from other Starbucks locations “who have no known impact from COVID-19,” said Reggie Borges, a company spokesperson.
All 13 employees have been placed on 14-day paid quarantines as recommended under guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Seattle and King County public health authorities, Borges said. Each employee’s quarantine period is based on their date of exposure, he said.
The store’s staff faced a higher risk because of prolonged exposure “with that particular partner,” said Borges, adding that any customers of the location who had concerns or had experienced symptoms “should follow those guidelines from King County public health and go to a medical professional.”
In a Friday post, Starbucks said the closure and cleaning were all conducted under guidelines from the City of Seattle and King County public health authorities. The company said city and county officials “encouraged us to reopen the store after further preventative cleaning, which we have already conducted.”