Apple Temporarily Closes All California Stores as Virus Cases Rise [Updated]
Apple is temporarily closing its retail locations in the Los Angeles area due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California, reports Bloomberg. Update - Dec. 19: Apple has extended the closures to all stores in California indefinitely.
This is the first time in several months that stores in Los Angeles have been closed. Apple has several major retail locations in the area, including stores at The Grove and Beverly Center shopping centers. Two stores in Los Angeles are closed today, and 11 additional stores are closing on Saturday. There is no word on when the stores will re-open.
All of Southern California is under a stay at home order that went into effect earlier in December, but the order does not require non-essential retail stores to shut down. Instead, stores and malls are able to operate at a reduced capacity, so Apple is not required to shut down by the state, but is likely doing so to protect its employees.
Coronavirus cases are also surging in the San Francisco Bay Area where Apple's headquarters are located, but the company has not yet closed stores there. Most stores are, however, operating in a limited "Express" mode that allows for order pickups and genius bar appointments, but does not let people browse.
Apple began closing retail locations earlier this year and many of its stores were shut down for months in the spring. Apple began reopening stores in June, but said that stores could close again depending on local guidelines and conditions.
In all stores, Apple is requiring face masks, limiting store occupancy, conducting temperature checks, implementing social distancing measures, and deep cleaning regularly.
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