Apple Inc. is closing an additional 14 U.S. retail stores Friday because of recent increases in COVID-19 cases, bringing the number shut after recently reopening to 32.
The closings will affect stores across Florida, Apple said Thursday in a statement. The decision means that 16 of Apple’s 18 stores in the state have been closed again, with just those in Jacksonville and Sarasota still open.
“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” an Apple spokesman told Bloomberg. “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.”
The U.S. coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, with 34,000 new cases reported Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cases have recently spiked in some U.S. states, including Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Texas and Arizona, prompting local governments to consider new measures.
Apple on Wednesday closed its seven retail stores in Houston and last week again shut 11 stores across Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The iPhone maker had reopened the majority of its 271 U.S. locations, including many stores in major markets like New York City and Los Angeles.
Apple originally closed all its stores outside of China in March to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Its reopened stores were split into categories of in-store shopping, curbside service or shopping by appointment only. Apple has also required customers to follow a health checklist, conduct social distancing and wear masks while in the store.
Apple didn’t say when the closed locations would open again, but noted that customers would have time to pick up devices under repair at the stores.