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Starbucks Requiring U.S. Workers To Get Vaccinated Or Tested

Starbucks' roughly 220,000 U.S. employees must disclose their vaccination status by Jan. 10.

Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report will reportedly require its U.S. workers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or undergo weekly testing in order to comply with new federal mandates.

The coffee retail giant told employees about the requirement in an update Monday, Reuters reported. 

Starbucks' roughly 220,000 U.S. employees must disclose their vaccination status by Jan. 10, according to a letter from Chief Operating Officer John Culver sent to employees on Dec. 27 and repeated in a weekly update on Monday.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

If workers choose not to get vaccinated, they can be tested weekly instead, and are responsible for acquiring their own OSHA-approved tests and submitting results.

Starbucks is not currently seeing broad closures of its cafes as a result of omicron, Reuters said, citing a company source. 

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This is sharp contrast to the first half of 2020, when the pandemic forced the coffee chain to temporarily shut at least half of its U.S. stores and convert remaining locations to drive-thru and carry-out only. 

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set a new date of Feb. 9 for large employers to require either full vaccination or weekly testing as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads quickly throughout the United States.

Starbucks has experienced spot outages of certain products, along with many other restaurant chains, due to a supply chain crunch ignited by the pandemic.

Group President North America John Culver  addressed the shortages during the company's fourth-quarter earnings call.

"We are seeing impacts and that's evident by some of the inventory levels in our stores, but I feel very good about the way in which we've been able to navigate it," he said

Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s medical adviser, said last week that a vaccination requirement for domestic flights should be considered amid the spread of the Covid omicron variant.