After shuttering all of its U.S. retail locations in mid-March to prevent the spread of covid-19, Apple began reopening stores last month in May. But now, due to a recent spike in covid cases, Apple has decided to reclose 10% of its stores, primarily in southern states such as Florida.
According to Bloomberg, when combined with recent closures of stores in Texas, Arizona, California, and North and South Carolina, the total number of Apple locations that have been shuttered after reopening now stands at 32. However, with 16 out of 18 stores now closed, Florida has been hit the hardest, and with the state facing a record number of new covid-19 cases this week, Apple stores in Florida probably won’t be reopening anytime soon.
In a statement sent to Bloomberg, an Apple spokesperson said “Due to current covid-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. 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.”
Earlier this week, Apple was forced to close seven stores around Houston after a rise in covid-19 cases in the area, following 11 new store closings last week across the south and southwest U.S.
In some ways, the reclosing of Apple stores stands as an index of how well (or poorly) the U.S. is combating the spread of covid-19, so while Apple says the majority of its 271 U.S. locations have been reopened, being forced to reclose 32 other locations is not a good sign.
However, the biggest impact of these closing will probably fall on anyone working or studying at home that needs service on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Thankfully, for anyone that was able to bring their device in for repair after Apple began reopening stores in May, Apple says customers will have time to pick up their devices before these stores get shut down again. Unfortunately, going forward, Apple has not said when it expects these store to reopen for the second time.