Apple closes 14 retail stores in Florida as coronavirus cases spike

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It's been a challenging year for Apple Stores (and, well, just about everyone.)
Photo: Brad Gibson / Cult of Mac

Apple has closed 14 stores in Florida starting Friday as a result of the increased number of coronavirus cases in the state, Apple has confirmed.

This brings the total number of Apple Stores to be reopened and then closed again to 32 in the United States. Earlier this week, Apple shuttered seven stores in the Houston area following a spike in COVID-19 cases. It has also closed select stores in Arizona, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Florida and beyond: A tough year for Apple Stores

Apple Stores aren’t alone in being affected by coronavirus, of course. It’s been a massively disrupted year for much of the traditional retail market around the world.

Apple initially closed stores in China when the first coronavirus cases were reported. It then reopened in China in March, but shuttered every other Apple Store globally to avoid the further spread of cases. Things began to change in May and early June, when Apple Stores started opening their doors again. However, in some cases they offered only curbside pickup and did not allow customers inside. Where customers were allowed inside, Apple instituted new safety measures. These included mandatory face masks, temperature checks, social distancing policies, and more.

Some Apple Stores then temporarily closed again in June when protests in the U.S. tipped over into looting and vandalism in some places. Now a spike in coronavirus cases has caused Apple to shutter some of its stores again. If you live in any of the states mentioned up top, and plan to visit your local Apple Store soon, it’s worth calling ahead or checking online to make sure it’s open.

In total, Apple has 271 Apple Stores in the U.S. Of these, more than 200 are open at time of writing. Still, as this latest announcement shows, it’s going to be a long time before everything gets back to normal in the way it was in 2019 and before.

Source: Reuters