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Caffeine connoisseurs can rejoice knowing the Skyland Boulevard Starbucks will not be closing permanently after all.

The store has been closed this week due to undisclosed reasons, only leaving several paper signs on its doors and drive-thru speaker acknowledging the unexpected cessation. The shop's absence from store locators, unanswerable questions from customer service representatives and no known reasons for its closure pointed to a more permanent fate for the coffee chain. 

However, answers have arrived, and the news is relatively positive for those who were sad to see the store go. Jory Mendes, a senior manager of corporate communications for Starbucks, clarified that the closure is only temporary, citing COVID-19 complications as the primary issue.

"We recently learned that a partner at the store received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, and along with those determined to have been in close contact with them, has been self-isolating at home," Mendes said in a Thursday afternoon email. "As soon as we learned of the diagnosis, we quickly activated our protocols following all recommended guidelines from public health authorities."

Mendes added that staffing limitations led the store to remain temporarily closed. While he did not have an exact reopening date to disclose, he said patrons can expect to get their coffee fix once again late next week.

Starbucks has remained at the forefront of enhanced COVID-19 protocols, making sure to remain explicitly transparent about cleaning protocols, consistent mask wear requirements and promotion of distanced and contactless transactions.

Here are some of the company's primary objectives in fighting the virus:

  • Mandatory facial coverings and social distancing
  • Partner precautions
  • Enhanced cleaning measures
  • Utilizing the Starbucks app and encouraging patrons to join Starbucks Rewards for contactless ordering and payment
  • Grab-and-go features in select stores
  • Encouraging drive-thru use
  • Curbside pickup at select stores
  • Delivery options through services like Uber Eats

The company also has extensive aid plans for its employees, including catastrophe pay and mental health benefits, expanded childcare services and ensuring employees stay financially sound. For more details about these benefits and the precautions listed above, click here. 

The Tuscaloosa Thread will update this story once the Skyland Boulevard store reopens. Stay connected to this site for more information and details as they become available.

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