Starbucks employee tests positive for coronavirus in Seattle

A Starbucks employee in downtown Seattle tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to the store’s closure for a deep cleaning, the company said.

In a memo Friday, Starbucks said the worker who tested positive is isolated at home. The store where the patient worked is closed, and the local health department has given it the go-ahead to return to business following the cleaning, Starbucks said. It did not announce when it’ll reopen.

Starbucks said it’ll continue to follow coronavirus protocols rooted in care for employees and expertise from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The frequent, additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures already underway in all our stores are fully in line with their guidance,” said Rossann Williams, executive vice president.

Just this week, Starbucks announced it is temporarily suspending the use of personal cups and tumblers at its stores around the world to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Seattle is the headquarters of the coffee giant, and the surrounding area has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Washington state has recorded 14 deaths, including at least seven at a long term nursing facility, a major concern for the vulnerable elderly population.

Seven of the state’s deaths have been connected to Life Care Center of Kirkland. Two other cases were reported at elderly living facilities in the state — the Ida Culver House in Seattle and the Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Issaquah.

The resident at Ida Culver House who tested positive has been hospitalized since Wednesday and will remain in quarantine for two weeks, officials said. The Issaquah resident who tested positive has been transferred to a local hospital.

Earlier this week, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook encouraged their employees to work from home after announcing coronavirus cases.