Coronavirus closure: Waffle House temporarily shuts 365 restaurants

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See you soon, Waffle House. The breakfast-centric chain has temporarily closed hundreds of restaurants across the Southeast during the coronavirus pandemic.

Waffle House announced on Tuesday that their informal, eponymous "Waffle House Index" had gone partially red, as 365 locations have been closed. 1,627 other restaurants remain open.

As the Georgia-based chain typically operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the so-called Waffle House Index is divided into three color codes: green, which represents fully functioning restaurants; yellow, which indicates limited menus; and red, which means a restaurant is closed entirely, Fox 5 reports.

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The breakfast-centric chain has temporarily closed 365 restaurants across the Southeast during the coronavirus pandemic.

The breakfast-centric chain has temporarily closed 365 restaurants across the Southeast during the coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)

The Waffle House Index is also an unofficial metric used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help determine the severity of a disaster, according to the agency.

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Last week, Waffle House said it would try to keep storefronts open for as long as possible and keep their 45,000 associates employed during the ongoing outbreak.

"Our mission is to provide an essential service in our communities during difficult times for all, including first responders and health care providers," the restaurant said in a statement.

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“We want to acknowledge the great efforts of our associates, who work hard every shift to create a safe, warm and welcoming dining experience 24 hours daily. We are working hard to support them as we do our best to manage through this crisis.”

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As of Wednesday morning, COVID-19 has reportedly infected over 55,000 people in the U.S. The viral disease has claimed the lives of 802 others.