Evanston businesses increase precautions as coronavirus spreads


Daily file photo by Kate Salvidio

Starbucks in downtown Evanston, 1734 Sherman Ave. The coffee shop is among the numerous businesses in Evanston taking increased precautions in response to the coronavirus.

Emma Edmund, City Editor

COVID-19 News

Businesses have increased precautions against the novel coronavirus.

The virus, which has been contracted by at least 647 people in the United States, has been at the center of a downward economic spiral. While The Wall Street Journal reports that economists aren’t forecasting a drawn-out recession, the global economy has already taken a beating, with China’s exports falling 17 percent and its imports falling four percent in the January-February period. The S&P, Dow and Nasdaq continued to tumble Wednesday morning.

Businesses are concerned about keeping customers safe. As part of a company-wide policy, Starbucks stores have banned the use of reusable cups to help contain the virus, but the company will still honor itsthie 10-cent discount for those who bring in a reusable cup.

“Although the situation remains fluid, our U.S. and international markets have gleaned learnings from our leadership team and partners in China who were first faced with this epidemic,” said Starbucks executive vice president Rossann Williams in an update. “As North America began experiencing heightened concerns, we quickly initiated a regular cadence of communications with our store partners to ensure they have the support they need.”

Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company is adding hours to each store’s payroll in an update for the purpose of ramping up cleaning procedures. The company has also temporarily stopped food sampling, and has started to limit the number of in-demand items customers can purchase at one time, such as various cleaning supplies, medicine and pantry items.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage employers to have sick employees stay home, perform routine cleaning and cross-train personnel to perform the essential functions of sick employees.

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Twitter: @emmaeedmund