Apple shuts down some US stores after rise in coronavirus cases

A month after reopening many of its US stores, Apple is temporarily shutting down retail locations in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina following a rise in coronavirus cases.

"Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas," Apple said in a statement.

"We take this step 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," the statement continued.

Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and North Carolina have all experienced an uptick in coronavirus cases recently. Nationwide, experts continue to highlight the need for social distancing and face covers.

In a letter shared with Apple customers in May, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s retail chief, explained the company would only move forward with reopening its stores if they were confident they could do so safely.

“We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials,” O’Brien explained at the time.

“These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won't take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” the letter continued.

Reopened stores have put in place several restrictions, including mandated face masks and temperature checks upon entry. Stores have also been required to conduct enhanced deep cleanings of all surfaces and displays. Many Apple stores continue to offer curbside pickup as well.