Apple Recloses Houston Stores Amid Texas Outbreak

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Apple has reclosed seven stores in Houston, Texas, the company announced Wednesday, as Texas grapples with a renewed outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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The store closures will be in addition to 11 stores that Apple closed last week in four states experiencing outbreaks, including Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. 

Texas has seen a surge of new cases over the last several weeks, surpassing 125,000 cases in total, and hit a record high Wednesday with 5,500 new cases, according to data from the state’s Department of Health. “There is a massive outbreak of COVID-19 across the state of Texas,” Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday during a press interview. 

Apple stores in Texas opened in late May, and the official state shelter-in-place mandate ended May 1.

Texas is one of several states experiencing a major surge of coronavirus cases, and the majority of states are seeing the numbers trend upwards as they reopen, according to the New York Times

While Governor Abbott has restricted elective surgeries at hospitals, he has not indicated that the state will reimpose restrictions on other businesses. “Closing down Texas will be the last option,” he said in a press conference Monday. 

Apple’s New York City stores are partially open, for pickup of online orders and for in-store Genius appointments, after New York City opened for in-store retail on June 22.

Though few other companies have made similar moves to reclose stores, many are watching the outbreaks with caution.