A security guard checked a customer’s temperature outside an Apple Store in Charleston, South Carolina in May.
A security guard checked a customer’s temperature outside an Apple Store in Charleston, South Carolina in May.
Photo: Sean Rayford (Getty Images)

Although many people may be glad to see parts of the country gradually reopening, it doesn’t mean that some places or companies won’t decide to close again if coronavirus cases flare up. That’s exactly what Apple is doing at about a dozen stores in the U.S. “out of an abundance of caution.”

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Apple has announced that it is temporarily closing 11 stores in four U.S. states—North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Arizona—due to the “current covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve.” Covid-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

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“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,” Apple said, per 9to5Mac.

All of the states where Apple is closing stores have recently seen a surge in coronavirus cases lately or have broken daily coronavirus case totals. To date, the total positive cases are as follows: 51,389 cases in North Carolina; 23,756 cases in South Carolina; 49,798 cases in Arizona; and 91,670 in Florida.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. Apple was one of the first companies to close stores in China and worldwide during the pandemic and has begun reopening slowly. When it outlined its approach to reopening stores in May, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president for retail and people, said Apple would not rule out closing stores again if the situation required it.

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“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 said. “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.”

Apple requires its employees and customers to wear face masks or coverings, and provides them when people don’t bring their own. It also conducts temperature checks and posts health questions to screen for people with symptoms or for those who have had recent exposure to someone with covid-19. When it comes to cleaning, Apple says it carries out enhanced deep cleanings throughout the day with an emphasis on surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.

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Let’s be frank: No one wants to close again, and no one wants to have to stay home again. Lockdowns and closures cause economical and emotional strain, and in many cases pain. Nonetheless, this pandemic is unfortunately far from over, and if we want to continue living in our “new normal,” sometimes companies have to close the doors for a little while and sometimes we have to go back inside.

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It’s not just Apple that’s doing this. In recent days, Beijing locked down residential compounds after dozens of coronavirus cases were linked to a seafood supermarket. Seoul also closed nightclubs and bars in May after a surge of infections. These are just some of the many examples.

I get it, it’s not ideal, but it would be even worse to give this virus free range to ravage our communities once more.

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