Public spaces empty amid coronavirus fear Starbucks is only serving customers “to go” in the U.S. and Canada in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The coffee chain will also completely close stores in some areas, including in regions which are seeing wider outbreaks of the pathogen. The company announced the closures, effective immediately, on Sunday. Company-run stores in high-risk areas including New York and Seattle that have a high count of COVID-19 cases, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are among those shutting down. Stores in high social-gathering settings such as malls or on university campuses will also be temporarily closed, according to the Seattle-based company.The contagious illness caused by the coronavirus is also prompting the company to remove chairs at thousands of locations for “at least two weeks to help prevent prolonged social gatherings in our cafes,” Rossann Williams, executive vice president at Starbucks and the president of U.S. retail operations, said in a statement. Locations remaining open are “pausing the use of all seating” including patio seating, modifying the condiment bar and making a change to the “cash handling process.” Those outlets will take orders in-store, through “Mobile Order & Pay” methods and via drive-thru windows,


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