Santa Monica Apple Store Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus, All Apple Store Locations Outside China Closed After Today At Apple Sessions Cancelled

Apple cancelled Today at Apple workshops at Apple Stores in the US and Canada. The company temporarily ceased all hands-on and Photo Walk sessions as a preventative measure to the coronavirus outbreak. The closures will last until further notice from the company.

The program replaced the One to One and traditional workshops in Apple Retail Stores in early 2017, with hands-on workshops focusing on digital arts, music, iOS devices and Mac tips. Apple pointed out that these shutdowns help reduce customer traffic alongside reducing the times for Genius Bar appointments. This means that customers are encouraged to visit the website if they need any help with their iPhones and Macs pertaining to the iOS, watchOS, iPadOS and macOS software. Only if users need any repairs for their iOS devices, Apple Watch and Macs, then they would need to see an Apple Genius in their local Apple Store. Otherwise, if they are far from an Apple Store or their Apple Store is shuttered during the outbreak, mailing in their device to the post office is the only option to get repairs during the COVID-19 outbreak. Getting their devices back from repairs can also take a long time as the outbreak may impact Apple’s repair centers.

Not only the reduction of customers have caused the cancellation of Today at Apple sessions, but an Apple Store employee from Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade recently tested positive for coronavirus during their leave since March 4, to care for their loved ones. All of the Apple Store locations are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, including the Apple products placed on the tables.

Update: As of Friday night, the Cupertino company has released an open letter on Apple Newsroom that all Apple Store locations located outside China are temporarily closed. The closures will last for the rest of the month, which all will reopen on the 27th of March. Only certain stores in the US will be open this weekend for those who have Genius Bar appointments or store pickups on March 14-16, on limited hours. This includes the stores closed in Italy during the country’s lock-down enacted by the government, which ends on April 3rd. US President Trump has already declared a national state of emergency for the United States as of yesterday afternoon.

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