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Santa Monica Apple Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus
By Jorge Casuso
March 13, 2020 -- An employee on leave from the Apple store in Downtown Santa Monica has tested positive for coronavirus, company officials said Friday.
The employee has been on leave since March 2 to care of a relative, Apple officials said in a statement.
“Apple’s first priority -- now and always -- is the health and safety of our employees, customers and the communities we serve," the statement reads.
"An employee at our Third St. Promenade store in Santa Monica informed us they had tested positive for COVID-19 late yesterday.
"The employee has not been to the store since taking leave on March 2 to care for a relative."
Apple officials said the Santa Monica store underwent "an additional extensive deep clean overnight" before opening Friday morning.
The company had already increased deep cleaning protocols at all its stores worldwide, officials said.
In addition, it has "actively reduced customer density" at its stores by canceling Today at Apple sessions and creating extra space for Genius Bar appointments, company officials said.
"We recognize this is a challenging and ever changing time for our global community and our thoughts are with those around the world personally affected by COVID-19 and the heroic medical professionals and researchers fighting it,” the statement said.
Tech Crunch,which broke the story Friday, said Apple "has extended additional sick time to all employees and any employee with symptoms similar to COVID-19 will be paid for sick time as long as they are out."
Since opening on the Promenade in December 2012, Apple has been one of Santa Monica's top sales tax generators, according to City data.
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