“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” Apple said in a statement obtained by FOX Business. “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.”
The seven stores closing for a second time in Houston are Baybrook, Highland Village, Houston Galleria, Memorial City, Willowbrook Mall, First Colony Mall and The Woodlands.
These stores were open for pickup of online orders and in-store Genius Support by appointment.
The Texas Medical Center in Houston announced that 97 percent of its ICU beds were occupied Tuesday, 27 percent of which were filled by COVID-19 patients. The hospital, which is the largest medical center in the world, said 70-80 percent of its ICU beds are typically filled and that it has plans for additional temporary ICU beds if necessary.
Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston is now treating adult ICU patients to help deal with the surge.
The Texas Department of State Health Services said Monday that new cases and hospitalizations are increasing at the fastest rate yet, and the state saw an all-time daily high of 5,489 coronavirus cases Tuesday.
“There remain a lot of people in the state of Texas who think that the spread of COVID-19 is really not a challenge," Gov. Greg Abbott told local news station KBTX-TV on Tueday. "Know this, and that is today, Texas will report an all-time high in the number of cases of people testing positive of more than 5,000. As you pointed out, the hospitalization rate is at an all-time high. The coronavirus is serious."
Apple reclosed several stores in Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and South Carolina last week due to surges of coronavirus cases in those states.
More than half of Apple’s 271 stores nationwide had re-opened last week, but more than a dozen have re-closed since then.