With reported COVID-19 cases surging nationwide, businesses in some hard-hit areas are facing the prospect of closing temporarily in order to help limit the virus’s spread.
One such company is Apple, which announced that it had temporarily shuttered each of its 53 California locations with mere days left in the holiday shopping season.
“Through a specific date”
A corporate spokesperson told NBC News that the decision was made “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.”
Days later, California reported its highest number of cases in one day with a total of 53,711. Four of the state’s five geographical regions are under stay-at-home orders and business occupancy restrictions.
As for anxious Apple customers impacted by the latest step, the company has provided some guidance on its website.
“The store may still be open for pickup of existing online orders, previously scheduled in-store Genius Support appointments, and previously reserved one-on-one shopping sessions with a Specialist made through a specific date,” the company advised.
Apple further noted that most shopping and support needs can still be addressed online, encouraging customers to visit the site for additional information.
“Preserve access to hospital resources”
A statement earlier in the year laid out the company’s plans for reopening locations in a safe manner, including consideration of factors such as “local cases, near and long-term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials.”
The Washington Examiner further noted that Apple had also decided to close its four Tennessee locations amid a spike in that state’s coronavirus numbers.
Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey urged the state’s residents on Sunday to take extra precautions and discouraged them from gathering in large numbers over the holidays.
“We want to preserve access to hospital resources,” she explained. “If we have another surge over Christmas, it will break our hospitals. Don’t gather with those outside of your households. We have to change our behavior over the next several weeks.”
It remains to be seen whether additional mitigation measures in California, Tennessee, and other states are successful in flattening the curve.