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Starbucks has suspended the use of reusable cups as a coronavirus precaution, based on a sign seen at their Lubbock location and a post at their official website.

There are more than a dozen Starbucks locations in Lubbock, both free-standing and located inside other businesses. The sign above was spotted at the Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble at the South Plains Mall.

A Starbucks employee at the 82nd and Quaker location explained to me that employees are not allowed to handle personal re-usable cups. "A lot of people are upset about it," a team member shared with us.

Justin Massoud, Townsquare Media Lubbock

Starbucks has a long page on their website covering the many precautions they're taking, including this one. The level of immediate concern at Starbucks is on an international level. The Starbucks stores in China have been shuttered, and according to the statement titled "Navigating through COVID-19," "...processes and protocols were put into practice in Seattle, following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in one of our stores."

On March 5th, the company also outlined five steps it would be taking to reduce the possible spread of coronavirus:

  1. We are taking guidance from the CDC and local health authorities, we have increased cleaning and sanitizing for all company-operated stores to help prevent the spread of all germs, adding paid time for our partners supporting this work.
  2. We are pausing the use of personal cups and “for here” ware in our stores. We will continue to honor the 10-cent discount for anyone who brings in a personal cup or asks for “for here” ware.
  3. We have provided scenario-based procedural information to our store teams on how to report and support anyone that may express they’ve been impacted by the virus, including store closure decision making support.
  4. We have restricted all business-related air travel, domestic and international through March 31.
  5. We have modified or postponed large meetings across our offices in the U.S. and Canada.

We appreciate that Starbucks is leading the way in taking vital steps to protect peoples' health.

Stay safe, be aware of your surroundings, take your own precautions, wash your hands often, and try not to be upset about the changes that are made in the interest of precaution to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC's official page.

Take care, and stay healthy.