CTV News reports that an Apple customer took her Mac into an Apple Store in Montreal, Canada for repairs on a Thursday, and was told it would take 24 hours to 10 days to be fixed. The next day on Friday, the store announced it would be closed the following day. On Friday prior to the closure, the store contacted the customer informing her to pick her laptop up before 5 PM, or else it would be stuck in the store until it reopened.
The customer reportedly then asked an Apple Store employee if someone at the store had tested positive for COVID19, they weren’t given an answer. The customer in an email to the news-station says that the stores need to tell the truth in their communities, or else it’s bad for public image.
“The main issue here is that if stores… are not going to be community-minded and reveal the truth, they should be called out on it. It’s really bad for their public image,” the customer said.
While true for public image, Apple must disclose to customers if they have come in contact with an employee who tested positive while their visit to their retail locations. The customer told the station that not knowing makes her feel “uneasy”. Apple says they took the step to close the store out of caution and hopes to reopen soon.
“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.”CTV News
Although there were some initial reports back in March of Apple Store staff members testing positive for the virus, not much has been heard since. On one hand, it’s great news if no Apple Store employee has gotten infected, on the other hand, it could be devastating if Apple is hiding it from the public.
The virus is highly transmissible, being in close contact with someone who has contracted the virus without proper social distancing and/or wearing a mask poses a high risk of getting it yourself. Apple’s response to COVID19 stretches back to March when the company announced it was shuttering all stores around the world to protect employees, and prevent its retail stores from becoming outbreak hotspots.
In the last few months, countries have begun to reopen after feeling the economic brunt of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Apple has been slowly following suit, reopening its retail stores in certain countries and cities where it feels safe to do so. However, the company has reopened, then shut-back down stores if COVID19 cases begin to increase in the area.