Apple on Tuesday confirmed that an employee at its Cork, Ireland, campus has contracted COVID-19.
The employee is now in self-isolation while Apple is deep cleaning all its offices, and some workers have been asked to remain at home while further assessments are carried out. Apple insists, however, that the risk to others is low.
“One of our employees in Cork has been confirmed to have COVID-19,” reads the statement published by Apple. “We are closely coordinating with the local health authorities who feel the risk to others is low, and the individual remains in self-isolation.”
The latest figures reveal that more than 114,600 cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide. More than 4,000 have died. Europe has been most impacted by the outbreak outside of Asia, with the whole of Italy now on lockdown as it struggles to contain the spread.
In Ireland, there have been 24 confirmed cases to date, including one Apple employee.
Apple asks workers to stay at home
“As a precaution, we have asked some of our team members to stay at home while we work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the situation,” Apple added. “We are continuing to regularly deep clean all our offices and stores and will take all necessary precautions in accordance with guidance from health authorities.”
The Cork campus is home to more than 6,000 Apple employees, including project and operations managers, software engineers, customer relations advisers, and more. Due to the nature of their work, many of the employees are from all over Europe and regularly travel.
This case comes just a day after Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar warned that more than half of the population in the Republic of Ireland could contract COVID-19. He also announced a €430 million ($489 million) financial aid package to help tackle the crisis, and urged Irish citizens against travelling to Italy.
The COVID-19 impact on Apple
Elsewhere, COVID-19 has forced Apple to close stores and cancel retail events like “Today at Apple.” Its manufacturing partners in Asia have been hit by staff shortages and transport restrictions, which could affect the production of existing and upcoming Apple devices.
It’s still unclear what Apple’s plans are for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which typically takes place in June. It could end up being an online-only event, or canceled altogether. The keynote we had been expecting this spring for iPhone SE 2 and other devices looks highly unlikely at this point.
Via: The Independent