The iPhone maker has closed stores in Florida, Georgia, Texas, Ohia, New Hampshire and Montreal, Canada, since Tuesday. The Cupertino giant usually shuts a store of 10 percent of its employees test positive for COVID-19
Amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, tech giant Apple has temporarily closed eight retail stores in the US and Canada, Bloomberg reported.
The iPhone maker has closed stores in Dadeland (Miami, Florida), The Gardens Mall (Palm Beach, Florida), Lenox Square (Atlanta, Georgia), Cumberland Mall (Atlanta, Georgia), Highland Village (Houston, Texas), Summit Mall (Fairlawn, Ohio), Pheasant Lane (New Hampshire) and Sainte-Catherine (Montreal, Canada) since Tuesday.
The Cupertino-based company generally closes retail stores when around 10 percent of its employees test positive for the coronavirus.
Earlier, Apple had shut nine other stores in Maryland, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Hawaii and Ottawa (Canada). The shops reopened a short while later, except the one on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, the Bloomberg report said. Similarly, Apple had shut down its store in Charleston, South Carolina, in August.
The company had earlier said it tests its employees on a regular basis and reopens stores only after testing each employee again.
“We regularly monitor conditions and we will adjust our health measures to support the well-being of customers and employees," Bloomberg quoted Apple as saying.
First detected last month, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 now accounts for at least 73 percent of all new cases in the US, Reuters reported.
According to a Reuters tally, the US has seen a 26 percent rise in the average number of cases in the past seven days and 83 percent since the beginning of December.
US President Joe Biden said his administration would assist the states in battling the fresh wave of infections by increasing the vaccination capacity, distributing 500 million COVID-19 tests for free and mobilising military medical personnel if required, AFP reported recently.
Meanwhile, Apple has started limiting number of people in its retail stores to maintain social distancing and made it mandatory for all to wear masks across all stores in the US. It has also installed plexiglass dividers in its retail stores to protect employees.
To mitigate the risk of visiting a store, Apple is offering incentives for ordering online. The company has started an offer to get products in most metro cities delivered for free booked within a period of two hours. The offer will be open till December 24.
(Edited by : Vijay Anand)