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Apple Closing 11 Stores Again In States Seeing a Spike in Coronavirus Cases

Apple reopened some of its stores last month, requiring temperature checks and facial masks for customers. It says it's now closing nearly a dozen stores across four states in which coronavirus cases were climbing.
Mark Lennihan
/
AP
Apple reopened some of its stores last month, requiring temperature checks and facial masks for customers. It says it's now closing nearly a dozen stores across four states in which coronavirus cases were climbing.

Apple said Friday it has decided to close 11 stores in four states in which coronavirus infections are surging. The decision comes just weeks after the company had reopened those locations.

The states where the stores are closing, starting Saturday, are in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Arizona.

"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," an Apple spokesperson said in a statement.

Last month, Apple started to reopen about 30 of its 271 stores in the U.S., requiring customers to have temperature checks and wear a mask before entering the stores. Employees also have to wear face coverings at all times and observe social distancing. Apple said it would regularly conduct deep cleanings of all surfaces and device displays.

In some states, reopening the economy has led to increased infections. In North Carolina, Arizona and Texas, virus-related hospitalizations have recently hit records.

The nearly dozen closures is expected to have a marginal effect on Apple sales, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote investors in a note Friday.

"That said, Apple re-closing stores after re-opening many of these stores over the past month is a worrisome trend that speaks to the volatility and fluidity of this COVID environment," Ives said.

An Apple spokesman told NPR the following stores will be closed, beginning Saturday:

Florida

-- Waterside Shops

-- Coconut Point

North Carolina

-- Southpark

-- Northlake Mall

South Carolina

-- Haywood Mall

Arizona

— Chandler Fashion Center

— Scottsdale Fashion Square

-- Arrowhead

-- SanTan Village

-- Scottsdale Quarter

-- La Encantada

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bobby Allyn is a business reporter at NPR based in San Francisco. He covers technology and how Silicon Valley's largest companies are transforming how we live and reshaping society.

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