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Apple takes action to close most U.S. stores after looting occurs

Some Apple Stores were looted last night as the U.S. suffered through another night of violent protests related to the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed when a Minneapolis police officer put his knee into the man’s neck for nine minutes even though he was handcuffed, compliant with all of the officers’ demands, and no longer a threat. All four officers were fired and one charged with third-degree murder.

To protect its employees from the violence, Apple has decided to temporarily close some of its brick and mortar locations. These stores had only recently reopened after being shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. Apple Stores that were damaged or looted included locations in Portland, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Charleston, Washington, D.C., Scottsdale, and San Francisco. Some of the stores that were heavily damaged are closed indefinitely while others will reopen on Monday. Apple today said, “With the health and safety of our teams in mind, we’ve made the decision to keep a number of our stores in the US closed on Sunday.”
One Twitter subscriber named Brian Mitchell (@BrianMitchL) tweeted about the Apple Store Uptown located in Minneapolis. The store was looted, boarded up, looted again, and boarded up again.

Out of the 271 U.S. Apple Stores, 140 stores had reopened over the last couple of weeks. It isn’t clear whether the violence will delay the reopening of the remaining 131 locations. Apple’s retail chief Deirdre O’Brien said earlier this month that “Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up.”

If you decide to visit an open Apple Store, O’Brien says, “In every store, we’re focused on limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, and renewing our focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store. We’re also taking some additional steps in most places. Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door, and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19. Throughout the day, we’re conducting enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas.”

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