In a statement today, Apple said that an employee of its Cork, Ireland campus has tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus and is now in isolation. The company says it is continuing to carry out a regular deep cleaning at all offices and retail stores.
Some workers are being told to stay at home whilst Apple cooperates with local health authorities to assess the situation.
Over the weekend, Apple told staff at its corporate offices around the world that they should work from home if their job allows. At the time, Apple said it was also deploying new measures to ensure the safety of staff who do remain on site.
These policies include reducing ‘human density’ at campuses whilst the risk of coronavirus spread remains high. The company has reduced Genius Bar and Today at Apple session hours at its retail stores in many countries. Although as yet unconfirmed, Apple is widely expected to cancel its usual June WWDC conference as local authorities advise companies not to hold large events for the time being, to limit coronavirus spread.
During normal operations, about 6000 people work at Apple’s Cork, Ireland facilities. The site covers various company responsibilities and departments including marketing, product research, and AppleCare.
The coronavirus outbreak is expected to affect Apple’s business from multiple angles. There is the disruption to Apple employees carrying out their business, disruption to Apple’s supply chain as availability of some components dwindle, and an impact to the bottom line as customer demand falls during this period. For instance, in February, Apple had to close all retail stores in China and sales in the region were down 60%.
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