Starbucks (SBUX 0.72%) closed its cafes to customers March 21 but has kept operating its drive-throughs and has made its food and beverages available through its delivery partners. Now, the chain has decided to keep those closures in effect through May 3, according to a letter to employees from Executive Vice President Rossann Williams.

The coffee chain has also extended all temporary benefits to workers and has made thermometers available in all its stores. Starbucks is also exploring offering non-medical grade masks to its workers.

A person delivers Starbucks.

Image source: Starbucks.

Staying ahead of the curve

Starbucks has been trying to be aggressive in its response to the coronavirus.

"Everything we are doing right now -- comprehensive partner care, increased cleaning and sanitizing protocols, closing cafes and adjusting operations, and our Quick Connect wellness checks ahead of every partner's shift -- meets and in many cases even exceeds the expert guidance provided by the CDC and other public health authorities," wrote Williams.

Workers who believe they may be sick, chose not to come to work, or are self-quarantining will be paid. Those who continue to work will receive an extra $3 per hour.

A plan to reopen

The cafe chain does have a plan to reopen but it's not set in stone.

"After May 3, we do intend to slowly begin to adjust back to more normal operating models and benefits plans, recognizing that the COVID-19 situation in each community is still incredibly different and fluid," Williams wrote.

All of these decisions acknowledge that the situation may continue to change. Being proactive and expecting adjustments makes sense, and shows the company continues to be a leader in keeping workers safe while still serving customers.