Apple closing 11 US stores after rise in coronavirus cases

Apple is closing 11 stores in four US states due to a rise in coronavirus cases, just weeks after reopening them.

Six branches are temporarily shutting again in Arizona due to an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Two are closing in both Florida and North Carolina, while the other one is in South Carolina.

The technology giant said: “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”

Apple began reopening more than 30 stores across the US last month after shutting down all of its locations in March.

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Some states have pushed ahead with emerging from full or partial shutdown despite a surge in new infections, including in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and California.

The US has the highest number of cases and deaths in the world, with 2.2 million infections and almost 119,000 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Daniel Ives from financial investment firm Wedbush Securities said the move was “a worrisome trend that speaks to the volatility and fluidity of this COVID environment”.

Like many big technology firms, Apple has been doing far better than most companies as the US economy is ravaged by the effects of the coronavirus.

Its stock price hit a record high of $356.56 (£288.46) in Friday’s early trading before news of the store closures rattled investors.

The shares were down by about 1.5% in afternoon trading.

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