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.\nThe 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.\nA 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.\nStarbucks 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.\nWhatever their decision, all employees would be paid for their scheduled shifts in the next 30 days.\n"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."\nThe company's president also noted that cafes, gas stations, and convenience stores staying open help to alleviate the pressure on grocery stores.\nWe're committed to caring for the health and well-being of our partners (employees) and customers while playing a constructive role in supporting our communities across Canada 💚 For real-time updates on our responses to customer and partner safety, visit: https://t.co/vA0KoVU4Cs pic.twitter.com/tJ4nY3ZVDa— Starbucks Canada (@StarbucksCanada) March 19, 2020\nThe 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.\nView this post on Instagram We're committed to caring for the health and well-being of our partners (employees) and customers while playing a constructive role in supporting our communities across Canada 💚 For real-time updates on our responses to customer and partner safety, please visit the link in our bio. A post shared by Starbucks Canada (@starbuckscanada) on Mar 19, 2020 at 1:24pm PDT\nDigulla 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."\nThe coffee chain joins the growing list of companies that have decided to close their locations, which now includes IKEA and Apple stores.