Coffee drinkers in Canada are probably learning how to make a great cup at home by now. The latest announcement is that Starbucks Canada stores are closing. They join a growing list of companies locking their doors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move was made public in a statement on March 20. The company said that effective immediately, all stores would be closing and moving to drive-thru and delivery only.

A few exceptions will be made for stores that are located near hospitals so that the cafes can still serve frontline health workers and first responders.

Starbucks Canada president Lori Digulla originally laid out the decision in a letter to all Starbucks partners. She also made sure to note that employees have the choice to continue coming into work or not. 

Whatever their decision, all employees would be paid for their scheduled shifts in the next 30 days.

"We don’t believe lattes are 'essential,'" Digulla wrote, "But in times of crisis, the government asks convenient food and beverage outlets to remain open when possible for pick up, drive-thru, or delivery."

The company's president also noted that cafes, gas stations, and convenience stores staying open help to alleviate the pressure on grocery stores.

The letter goes on to say that Starbucks will work with all levels of the Canadian government to determine the best and safest ways to stay open during this period.

Digulla concluded the letter by extending thanks and gratitude to company partners, writing "Thank you so much for all you’re doing, and above all else know that all our decisions are balancing partner and customer care, with science and facts, to serve our communities in the most impactful way we can as long as it is safe to do so."

The coffee chain joins the growing list of companies that have decided to close their locations, which now includes IKEA and Apple stores.

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