Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the Internet over the weekend to announce that Apple would be closing its retail stores outside of China through March 27. Here’s why – and he notes that Apple employees will continue to be paid.

The Triangle has two Apple retail stores.

“We are committed to providing exceptional service to our customers. Our online stores are open at, or you can download the Apple Store app on the App Store. For service and support, customers can visit I want to thank our extraordinary Retail teams for their dedication to enriching our customers’ lives. We are all so grateful to you.

“In all of our offices, we are moving to flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China. That means team members should work remotely if their job allows, and those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space.

“Extensive, deep cleaning will continue at all sites.

“In all our offices, we are rolling out new health screenings and temperature checks.

“All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations. We have expanded our leave policies to accommodate personal or family health circumstances created by COVID-19 — including recovering from an illness, caring for a sick loved one, mandatory quarantining, or childcare challenges due to school closures.”

The company will also commit $15 million to help with the worldwide recovery of the virus, he said, “both to help treat those who are sick and to help lessen the economic and community impacts of the pandemic.”

As of Saturday, all of the company’s stores in China have reopened.

“As rates of new infections continue to grow in other places, we’re taking additional steps to protect our team members and customers,” Cook said.

Employees in all other parts of the world who are able to work remotely should do so, Cook said, and “those whose work requires them to be on site should follow guidance to maximize interpersonal space.”