Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 16:33 Economy

COVID Surge? Apple's New Measures In The USA

Although infection numbers in many European countries have continued to sink over the past two months following a short resurgence after Easter, the situation's a little bit different right now in The United States. Although the US seemed to have put its biggest rise in cases in the middle of January behind it, the situation has slowly begun to reverse itself since April – with a total 7 day incidence of 201 infections per 100,000 people. This is still lower than in some major European countries such as Germany, where the 7 day incidence is still at 490 (currently the highest in Europe), however, numbers in the US still correspond to a quadrupling in cases within 6 weeks. In one week alone, cases rose by over 60%. Infection numbers in each individual state are developing extremely differently, in part due to the varying population density of each state. States with large, developed, compact cities such as New York have a 7 day incidence of 350 per 100,000, whereas less densely populated states such as Wyoming have a 7 day incidence of only 42 per 100,000.

Stores: Reintroduction Of Mask Requirement
In response to the sharp increase in cases in heavily populated areas, Apple has responded with various measures. For example, in 100 stores there is now a requirement for all employees to wear masks again. However, this doesn't apply to customers or visitors as laws in certain states prevent mask mandates – meaning it would be an illegal and fineable offense to require customers to wear masks. Apple had suspended its mask requirements back in March, although Apple did mention back then that this would remain flexible and dependent upon current developments.

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Offices: Less Populated & Masks
The new measures have also affected Apple Park and various other office locations. Employees are currently only physically on site 2 days per week, but this should change to 3 days next week. However, since most of Apple's offices are in heavily metropolitan areas with higher incidences, the extension to 3 days on site per week will be postponed indefinitely. The mask requirement for the stores also impacts all office spaces where people meet.

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