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Apple shuts US store after staff members get Covid positive: Report

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Apple has shut one of its retail stores in Texas in the US after at least four of its staff members were found Covid-19 positive, the media reported.

According to NBC News, the Apple store in Southlake, Texas, was closed Wednesday through Sunday following an outbreak of positive Covid cases among staff members.

“The store, which has 151 employees, reported four positive cases immediately after Black Friday on November 26,” according to an internal email obtained by NBC.

Now, 22 employees “have shared that they’re positive for Covid-19,” a store manager told staff during a meeting, the report said late on Thursday.

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All employees will be required to take a rapid antigen test on Sunday before the store’s scheduled reopening on Monday.

NBC spoke with four current and former employees at the Southlake store who said “they’ve received calls from their manager encouraging them to come to work, even when they called out sick. In two of these cases, the employee had taken the Covid-19 survey and the results said not to come in.”

An Apple spokesperson was quoted as saying that the company has prioritised the health and well-being of customers and employees since the early days of the pandemic.

“As we continue to face these ongoing challenges, we remain committed to a comprehensive approach for our teams that combines regular testing with daily health checks, employee masking, deep cleaning and paid sick leave,” the spokesperson added.

Apple reopened all of its 270 retail stores in the US last year. It was on March 13, 2020 when Apple closed all of its retail stores outside of Greater China.

The tech giant has set February 1, 2022, as the return date to office for its employees worldwide, as the tech giant prepares for a hybrid workplace in 2022.

Apple had earlier delayed return to office until at least January 2022, as the US witnessed a surge in cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19.



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