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Starbucks to require all customers to wear face masks

The coffee giant explained the face mask requirement is part of its work to prioritize 'the health and well-being' of both employees and customers.

Starting July 15, Starbucks will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its 9,000 company-owned locations in the U.S. 

The company explained in a blog post Thursday that it is working to prioritize "the health and well-being" of both employees and customers. 

The company said customers not wearing a face mask will be able to pick-up orders at the drive-thru, via curbside pick-up or by placing an order for delivery through Starbucks Delivers.

Employees have already been required to wear face coverings since mid-March.

"The company is committed to playing a constructive role in supporting health and government officials as they work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Starbucks said in a statement

Starbucks joins a growing list of companies requiring masks in their stores. Costco, the Apple Store, Dollar Tree, Verizon and AT&T already require customers to wear face coverings.

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In areas where COVID-19 is spreading, health experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say that wearing masks or other face coverings in public helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus when people can’t socially distance by staying 6 feet apart.

The coronavirus mainly spreads through droplets that are emitted when people talk, laugh, sing, cough and sneeze. Masks lower the likelihood of those droplets reaching other people. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could be carrying the virus and could spread it.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Credit: AP
FILE - In this this Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, Starbucks cups are shown mugs in a cafe in North Andover, Mass.