Starbucks stores across the nation have remained open despite reports that many employees have felt ill and exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus. Stores continue to open as normal and sick employees continue to go into work, even though they risk possibly spreading their sickness to their coworkers and customers, according to Buzzfeed News.
An unnamed Starbucks employee from northern Washington was among those who fell ill. The individual began to exhibit serious symptoms on March 14, including a dry cough and trouble breathing. Both of these are known symptoms of COVID-19. While the store was cleaned and sanitized, it did not close.
Another employee from Georgia continued to do their job at Starbucks, despite the fact that they too showed serious symptoms. An employee at the same store told management that his wife was showing symptoms that corresponded with that of COVID-19. While he could have likely been exposed to the virus, he was told to come into work anyway, thus putting others at risk.
Yet another employee who worked at a Starbucks in Maine told his boss that he was feeling sick. Instead of being allowed to stay home so he wouldn’t spread any germs he potentially carried, he was made to feel as if he was overreacting and told to come into work anyway.
The individual’s boss told him he “couldn’t be thinking every sniffle was corona, or else we would have to think everyone might have it.”
One employee from an Oregon Starbucks believes she fell ill after exposure to customers. She exhibited flu-like symptoms just one day after “not one but two customers coughed on me,” she explained.
“I went to the ER because I felt like literal death. I was given the diagnosis of ‘mild respiratory infection’ just by looking at me. I had a fever of 104 degrees, trouble breathing, and a severe sore throat,” the woman said.
Nevertheless, the woman was never tested for the coronavirus, nor were her coworkers who could have been exposed to the sickness she was carrying. The Starbucks that the woman worked at did not close.
Starbucks defended themselves in a recent statement, explaining they are trying to make the best possible decisions as more information comes out regarding the pandemic.
“We’re learning as we go. Information on this virus is coming in every single day. We’re constantly listening to our partners, and once we were able to understand some of the feedback and some of the challenges they faced, we took actions.”
The coffee chain has taken specific measures to prevent the spread of germs, including banning personal cups, as The Inquisitr previously reported.