Apple Shuts Stores in Miami, Ottawa, Annapolis After Covid Surge
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has temporarily closed three retail stores in the U.S. and Canada after a rise in employee Covid-19 cases and exposures, the latest sign that a virus resurgence is threatening retail operations just before Christmas.
The three stores are in the Brickell City Centre in Miami; Annapolis, Maryland; and downtown Ottawa. The company said that all employees will take Covid-19 tests prior to the stores reopening and that it’s staying in touch with the affected workers. Store closures due to a rise in internal Covid cases typically last for a few days.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees,” Apple said in a statement. “We remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee and customer masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave.”
Covid-19 cases have been surging across the U.S., fueled in part by the omicron variant. On Tuesday, Apple restored its mask mandate for shoppers at all U.S. retail locations and told employees it would begin proactively limiting how many customers it will allow in its stores at one time.
The company has typically only needed to close one store at a time due to employee Covid cases since reopening all of its retail stores earlier this year. Last week, the company temporarily closed a store in Southlake, Texas. In August, it temporarily shuttered a location in Charleston, South Carolina.
Apple recently started requiring employees, regardless of vaccination status, to take rapid tests for Covid multiple times per week before coming to work. It also asks employees who feel sick to stay home. The company is aiming to require corporate employees to return to the office by Feb. 1. It’s unclear if the uptick will impact those plans.
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