Apple has closed both its Tampa Bay Apple stores, as well as more than two dozen other locations in states with a rising number of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, competitor Microsoft has announced that it won’t reopen its stores after closing them because of the pandemic.
The Apple stores at International Plaza in Tampa and in the Brandon Westfield mall are both temporarily closed, according to Apple’s website. The company made the decision last week, as the number of coronavirus cases across Florida began to spike. Apple has also closed stores Texas, Arizona and North Carolina for the same reason.
International Plaza had been home to a Microsoft store, too. The company said on Friday the decision to close the stores permanently was part of “strategic change in its retail operations.” It had about 70 locations spread across the United States.
Not every Apple store in Florida is closed. Locations are closed in the areas with the highest case counts: Broward, Miami-Dade, Orange, Seminole, Palm Beach, and Hillsborough.
Nearby in Sarasota the Univeristy Town store is still open but with limited hours. The store allows for online order pickups and computer support by appointment only. That mall also has one of the now-shuttered Microsoft locations.
The Florida Department of Health confirmed 5,266 new coronavirus cases on Monday, bringing the total number of infected Floridians to 146,341.
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