US Apple stores remain open amid coronavirus outbreak, but employees can get unlimited sick leave
Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook encouraged employees in Cupertino to work from home if they can. Apple also sent care packages to its workers in Hubei and Wenzhou, including food items, hand sanitizers, face masks, a thermometer, and a 10.2-inch iPad. Last month, the fear of the COVID-19 virus forced all 42 Apple stores in China to close for a period of time, with 29 of them now open only for 8 hours per day. This contributed to a serious plunge in iPhone sales in the country, with 494,000 units sold compared to the 1.27 million from February 2019.
The coronavirus threat can affect not just retail stores but also Apple’s planned major events. The expected March 31 event can be delayed, or the company can opt for a digital launch of the rumored iPhone 9 and the new iPad Pro models. The situation is changing on a day-to-day basis, and new policies can take place in case of any negative development.