An Apple Store employee already on leave from the Third St. Promenade in Santa Monica, California has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The employee had been on leave to take care of a relative since March 2, which was 10 days before being diagnosed.
TechCrunch reports Apple has consulted health experts and has deep-cleaned the Third St. store, which remains open. The Cupertino firm says that it has also instituted additional deep-cleaning protocols and taken measures to reduce density by canceling “Today at Apple” sessions and spacing out Genius Bar appointments.
“Apple’s first priority — now and always — is the health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities we serve. An employee at our Third St. Promenade store in Santa Monica informed us they had tested positive for COVID-19 late yesterday. The employee has not been to the store since taking leave on March 2 to care for a relative.
In consultation with health experts, we’ve taken a number of steps to protect our teams and customers. All our stores around the world have increased deep cleaning protocols and we have actively reduced customer density in all stores worldwide by cancelling Today at Apple sessions and creating extra space for Genius Bar appointments. As a precaution, we also undertook an additional extensive deep clean overnight before reopening the Third St. Promenade store.
We recognize this is a challenging and ever changing time for our global community and our thoughts are with those around the world personally affected by COVID-19 and the heroic medical professionals and researchers fighting it.”
So far, Apple has kept open its stores in the United States. However, in popular stores, the company is limiting the number of customers allowed in the store at one time. When asked by TechCrunch if it is considering closing any retail locations in the U.S., but Apple declined to comment.