Apple today confirmed earlier rumors that it plans to shut down re-opened stores in four states. Impacted locations include six stores in Arizona, two in Florida, another two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.
“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,” Apple said in a statement.
It’s been just over a month since the company began to reopen a handful of locations, as states began wider reopening efforts. The company implemented several safeguards, including mask requirements, temperature checks and enforced social distancing, as well as extended cleaning efforts.
“These are not decisions we rush into,” Retail SVP Deirdre O’Brien wrote at the time, “and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant.”
One imagines the company will approach re-re-opening the same way. However, several states have posted increases in COVID-19 cases since government began the process of reopening. Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Nevada, Oregon and Texas have all posted record high infection rates in the past week. Given the uncertain nature of the virus’s spread, it seems likely this won’t be the last time Apple and other retailers have to reverse course.