Coronavirus causes Chick-fil-A to temporarily halt dining room seating

Menu options and hours of operation may be reduced as well

Chick-fil-A has temporarily halted its dining room seating in an effort to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus.

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The company tweeted the temporary policy Monday, which comes alongside a slate of changes it has implemented as it works to "manage the evolving impact" of the rapidly spreading virus.

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"Our highest priority continues to be the health and well-being of everyone who comes into our restaurants," the company wrote in a note to customers and staff. "As we navigate the evolving impact of coronavirus on our communities, we are temporarily closing our dining room seating to help limit person-to-person contact."

To date, all of Chick-fil-A's restaurants remain open, though some locations will only offer service through its drive-thrus, while others will only offer takeout, delivery or mobile ordering options, according to the company.

Additionally, in support of the recommendations set forth by federal health officials, the company also closed its playgrounds to "focus heightened sanitation" efforts in other areas of its restaurants across the nation.

Employees prepare fried chicken sandwiches for guests during an event ahead of the grand opening for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in New York, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015. [Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

All Chick-fil-A meals will temporarily be served in carry-out packaging and drive-thru guests will no longer be given a printed menu. The beverage refill service may also change, the company warned last week.

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The company also cautioned its restaurants may implement additional changes including reducing menu options and hours of operation.

"In addition to following CDC guidance and partnering with local health departments, all franchise restaurants have been equipped with recommended procedures to follow if their community, or someone from their restaurant, becomes impacted by the virus," Tim Tassopoulos, Chick-fil-A's president and chief operating officer, said in a personal note last week to guests.

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The company also advised anyone not feeling well to stay home and monitor their symptoms.

To date, there are at least 169,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and at least 6,513 people have died in the outbreak.

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