Due to rising COVID-19 cases, 11 Apple Stores in the U.S. have been closed temporarily
With the number of coronavirus infections ramping up in several states, Apple announced today (via the Wall Street Journal) that it is temporarily shutting the door on 11 Apple Stores that had recently reopened in four states. For example, the number of new cases in Florida set a record overnight as 3,822 people were confirmed to have the virus. Amid this backdrop, Apple has decided to shut two stores in Naples, Florida; a pair close to Charlotte, North Carolina; one located in Greenville, South Carolina; and six in Arizona.
An Apple spokesman stated, "We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible." Apple started closing its stores in China back in January and by the following month, all 42 locations in the country were shuttered. In March, all of the stores in China were re-opened. U.S. Apple Stores closed in March and started re-opening in May. That process was interrupted and U.S. locations closed when some Apple Stores were vandalized and looted during the first weekend of BLM protests that took place across the globe.
Apple closes 11 Apple Stores as new coronavirus infections rise in certain states
The virus led the company to make other changes as well. Apple was forced to move its WWDC Developers Conference online because of the pandemic and the Keynote will be streamed live over several platforms including the Apple Developer app starting this coming Monday (June 22nd) at 10 am PDT. What isn't known yet is whether the coronavirus will lead Apple to push back the unveiling and release of its 2020 5G iPhone 12 models. Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives recently told clients to expect the traditional September introduction of the new handsets followed by a release in October. But that forecast was made before new COVID-19 cases started to rise in some states.
This action by Apple is shocking in some sense because many Americans believed that the pandemic had ended. These people stopped wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Beaches and bars have been packed in states that have started to reopen.
Apple Stores that remain open in the states do practice social distancing. Customers can pick up devices ordered online and make Genius Bar appointments. Those entering an Apple Store will have their temperature taken before entering the store and browsing will be limited.