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Apple Closes Stores Outside of China During COVID-19 Outbreak

Apple is changing the company’s retail operations in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. In mainland China, were cases have dropped and new infections are on the decline, stores are reopening, but all other retail locations are closing for almost two-weeks. In today’s announcement, Tim Cook outlined the store closures, detailed how hourly workers are being paid, and examined Apple’s charitable donations during the crisis. According to the announcement, Cook said that Apple’s committed donations to the global COVID-19 response reached $15M worldwide as of Saturday morning. The company is also matching employee donations two-to-one to support COVID-19 response efforts locally, nationally and internationally.

Cook stated, “At Apple, we are people first, and we do what we do with the belief that technology can change lives and the hope that it can be a valuable tool in a moment like this. Teachers are innovating to make remote lessons come alive. Companies are experimenting with new ways to stay productive. And medical experts can diagnose illnesses and reach millions with critical updates in the blink of an eye. We are all adapting and responding in our own way, and Apple wants to continue to play a role in helping individuals and communities emerge stronger.”

“But this global effort — to protect the most vulnerable, to study this virus, and to care for the sick — requires all of our care, and all of our participation,” Cook added, “And I want to update you about the ways in which we are doing our part.”

In Greater China, all stores have reopened, but Apple is closing all retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27th.

Cook added, “We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com. I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.”

The company stated, “All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.”

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