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Apple shutters all retail stores outside of Greater China due to coronavirus

(Image credit: TonyV3112/Shutterstock)

Apple's low confidence in COVID-19's containment is evident as the Cupertino-based tech giant moves to shutter all retail stores outside of Greater China, according to a blog post published by the MacBook masterminds (via BankokPost).

We recently reported that Apple reopened its retail stores in China as coronavirus concerns wanes in the region, but unfortunately, the ripple effects of the COVID-19 outbreak is devastating other parts of the world, including the United States.

A pivotal lesson that the Apple team learned from the COVID-19 crisis is the importance of social distancing to curb the spread of the contagion. As coronavirus cases continue to grow outside of China, the tech bigwig decided to shutdown their non-China-based retail stores until March 27.

To mitigate employees' concern on how Apple's closures would impact them, CEO Tim Cook 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."

Apple is also encouraging its employees to work from home and seek remote-friendly solutions. As the tech giant impels its workforce to rely on web-based platforms during the COVID-19 crisis, Apple is also reminding its customers that even though their brick-and-mortar stores are closed, their internet business is still welcoming customers' money with open arms.

"Our online stores are open at www.apple.com, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit support.apple.com," Cook added.

As of Monday morning, at least over 3,800 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US, including Washington D.C. and three U.S. territories; 66 patients with the novel coronavirus have died.

Apple assured its workers that it will continue to deep clean its offices, and in the near future, it will roll out new health screenings and temperature checks.

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!