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Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

Starbucks will be entering a "monitor and adapt" phase of the coronavirus starting in China, CEO Kevin Johnson announced in a letter on Thursday.

Why it matters: Businesses around the world and U.S. have had to adjust to a new normal as the pandemic continues to take its toll. They've been forced to restructure their businesses to best serve customers while ensuring their employees remain protected.

What they're saying: The thousands of Starbucks stores around the world will continue to be drive-thru only and allow customers to place contactless orders through the mobile app.

  • "As we have experienced in China, we are now transitioning to a new phase that can best be described as “monitor and adapt.” This means every community will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and people and businesses in that community will begin to adapt. Gradually, more schools and businesses will open."
  • "While flexible store formats, digital leadership, and innovative data tools help, the decision of how to operate a store, and when to make changes, is a human one. While dozens of factors help inform the decisions, our field leaders look at four factors: the local status of the public health crisis, guidance from health and government officials, community sentiment and store operational readiness."

Read the letter:

Go deeper: Brands risk losing business if they don't properly address coronavirus

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
36 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.