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Starbucks in New York City on June 23. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Starbucks announced Thursday that it will require customers to wear face coverings in all company-owned stores across the U.S. starting July 15.

The big picture: "...many retail workers have reluctantly turned into de facto enforcers of public health guidelines, confronting customers who refuse to wear masks or to maintain a wide distance from others," the New York Times reported in May.

Between the lines: Starbucks did not specify in its Thursday release how the new rule on face coverings would be enforced.

What they're saying: Customers who visit stores without face coverings — in areas without a "local government mandate" — can order at the drive-thru, use curbside pickup or place delivery orders, the company said.

Go deeper: Starbucks enters “monitor and adapt” phase of coronavirus response

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: First known U.S. case of Omicron variant identified in California — America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron — CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers.
  2. Politics: Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come — Meta removes accounts linked to COVID disinformation effort by China.
  3. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  4. World: Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people — Omicron variant detected in more countriesWHO advises people 60 or older to postpone travel due to Omicron
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Over 1,000 current and ex-CDC officers decry the "politicization" of the agency

President Trump calls on reporters during a news conference with White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 1,000 current and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence officers have signed an open letter, decrying "the ominous politicization" of the agency throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The CDC is typically at the forefront of the U.S. response to public health crises, but the agency has largely been sidelined during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the White House attempting to control messaging, which, at times, contradicts scientific evidence.

Oct 16, 2020 - Health

Vaccine timeline "to ensure public trust"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Pfizer says people might start getting COVID-19 vaccines before the end of the year, according to a timeline it laid out Friday.

The state of play: By the end of October, the company said it hopes to know whether the vaccine is effective, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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