A report surfaced earlier today about an Apple Store in the heart of downtown Montreal being closed until further notice due to COVID-19. In an email to CTV News, Apple would not officially confirm if there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at the store. Apple’s general statement noted that “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. 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.”
An unnamed customer who brought in a computer for repairs last Thursday told CTV News that they were told it would take between 24 hours and 10 days to be fixed. The very next day they were told to pick up their laptop from the store before 5 p.m. on Saturday, otherwise it would remain with Apple until the store reopened.
The customer said they asked an Apple employee if there had been a positive case of COVID-19 at the store, but they wouldn’t confirm. Obviously being at the store to bring in the Apple device the day before for repair, they wanted to know if they were in contact with any staff that might have been diagnosed as having COVID-19.
The customer stated that “The main issue here is that if stores like Apple are not going to be community minded and reveal the truth, they should be called out on it. It’s really bad for their public image,” to leave customers who visited that store in the dark on this important health concern.
It’s a legitimate concern and one that I personally think is fair to have answered. I would want to know if I had been in the Apple Store the day before it closed due to COVID-19. Was it a general decision to close the store or one brought on by a sick staff member that I may had been in contact with.
Apple should revise their approach to closures and reach out to local TV news stations or the press to clarify why the store was closed and specifically to state whether or not any staff member was indeed infected.