Apple closes Apple Store in Charleston after employee COVID exposure

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple has temporarily shuttered its Apple Store location in Charleston, South Carolina after more than 20 retail staff members were exposed to COVID-19.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


According to Apple's retail website, the Apple Charleston location is closed until Monday, Aug. 22. Bloomberg reports that a sign on the door of the brick-and-mortar store alerts customers to the temporary closure.

Stores of the size of Apple Charleston typically have between 70 and 80 staff members, so it appears that only a portion of the location's employees were exposed to the coronavirus.

The closure underscores the challenges that Apple and other retailers must face as they restart their brick-and-mortar operations amid a surge in the more infectious delta variant of COVID-19.

Back in July, Apple began urging retail staff members to don masks again even if they're vaccinated. The company is also ramping up its testing efforts for both retail and corporate employees.

Apple had reopened all of its U.S. Apple Store locations in March after months of being shuttered.

A report from June indicated that Apple hadn't planned a major shift in its retail strategy as pandemic restrictions lifted across most of the country. However, an early July report suggested that the company may be mulling a hybrid work model for Apple Store employees that could see them work weeks at home handling online customer service requests.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 2
    All it takes is one COVIDIOT.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,271moderator
    ToniD said:
    All it takes is one COVIDIOT.
    It says here it can take as few as 1000 particles to cause an infection:

    https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/1-000-coronavirus-particles-can-infect-you-here-s-how-to-avoid-hitting-that-threshold/19093761/

    and a single cough can contain as many as 200m particles but a few thousand would be enough. Even being vaccinated and masked, someone can spread 1000 particles because of the new variants. It says breathing is unlikely to cause infection except for a prolonged period of time but talking can take just 5 minutes to infect someone.

    If someone has a normal mask that filters around 50% of particles and they have been fully vaccinated but have the delta or other variant, they can still pass on an infection after talking to them in close proximity for a few minutes.

    Then it spreads more easily among the staff who are working near each other the whole day.

    Being infected doesn't mean they will have severe symptoms, especially if they are vaccinated but people need to be aware of the limitations of the measures that are in place. This infection among staff could have been from outside the store. Staff have to travel to the store and could have brought it in from a family member or caught it during commute.

    Maybe stores are going to have to make it so that staff don't walk in the same zones that customers have been in. If they constantly maintain a distance between them and talk to them at a distance, possibly through a terminal, that should keep them safe from particles. This wouldn't protect customers from each other but there's less risk due to the timing and the fact they don't interact with each other.

    There are also different types of protective equipment that can be tried:



    https://hiconsumption.com/air-by-microclimate-helmet/



    Apple might be able to manufacturer some protective equipment like this.

    Apple's Stores aren't essential to be open of course, people can easily buy things online but without more effective measures, these closures are going to keep happening.
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