Santa Monica Apple Store employee tests positive for coronavirus

Santa Monica Apple Store employee tests positive for coronavirus

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An Apple Store employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
Photo: Laurenz Heymann/Unsplash

An Apple Store employee, who went on leave earlier this month to care for a relative, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Apple and the employee from the Third Street Promenade store in Santa Monica learned of the positive test late Thursday, according to reports. The employee has not been back to the store since taking leave on March 2.

The store is open after Apple checked with health experts and conducted its deep-cleaning protocols, according to TechCrunch.

“In consultation with health experts, we’ve taken a number of steps to protect our teams and customers,” Apple said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “All our stores around the world have increased deep-cleaning protocols and we have actively reduced customer density in all stores worldwide by canceling ‘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.”

Coronavirus may wind up the biggest storm Apple has ever had to weather. It has impacted production schedules, inventories, product demand, stock prices and Apple Store operations.

Friday started with good news. All 42 Apple Stores are now re-opened in China, where the outbreak of the virus began. The day also included Apple’s decision to close all of its stores in Italy and, now, one Apple Store employee with the virus.

Apple says it will pay for sick time for all of its employees, especially those with coronavirus symptoms.