Apple has closed its brick-and-mortar stores, and one of the company’s Culver City, California, employees has tested positive for COVID-19.
Excepting the 42 Apple stores located in China, 464 Apple locations will be out of commission “until further notice,” according to a message displayed on the company’s website. In a statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook indicated that the closure will run through Friday, March 27th.
Additionally, Apple stores will accept affected returns—that is, items eligible to be swapped for a refund only during the closure period—for 14 days after reopening. Apple has also contributed $15 million to the COVID-19 relief effort.
The Culver City employee who tested positive for COVID-19 is in self-isolation and is said to be in stable condition. Fellow employees were informed of the test over the weekend, and no additional cases have been reported from the office location. The coronavirus sufferer didn’t exhibit symptoms of the infection while inside the facility, which has remained open.
Apple isn’t the only company that’s closed its doors in an effort to minimize the prevalence and spread of COVID-19. Countless restaurants have ceased welcoming customers into dining rooms (both as a precautionary measure and in response to a quickly growing number of government ordinances), and even the famed Las Vegas Strip has seen many of its casinos and resorts shut down indefinitely.
COVID-19 testing is becoming increasingly available in the United States, and as a result, more diagnoses are being reported. At the time of this piece’s writing, approximately 5,700 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed domestically, with 95 individuals having perished from the infection.
Internationally, the coronavirus has had a decidedly more devastating impact. Italy has identified about 28,000 COVID-19 cases to date, and Iran experienced a 1,200-case surge overnight.
Health officials in multiple European states have instituted mandatory lockdowns, and reports from Iran’s government-run media outlets indicate that the infection is being viewed in a more serious light.