In the latest pandemic-related twist for Apple (AAPL -1.76%), the company has asked many of its store employees to work remotely. Amid the recent surge in coronavirus cases across many states, some Apple stores have again shut their doors.
In a video circulated among these retail employees, Apple's senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O'Brien, asked workers to serve customers over the phone or online.
"If your store is closed, please sign up for Retail at Home, please talk to your manager, because we really need to make sure that we shift our teams to greet customers remotely in this time," O'Brien told her staffers in the video. She added that they might need to work out of their homes for "some period of time."
O'Brien also warned employees that a full return would not come before year-end.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, customers seeking help have experienced what the company calls "significant wait times" as more Apple users turn to online help resources.
Apple began this program in March during the first round of store closings that saw much of the world go into lockdown. The current closures affect over 90 of the company's 271 U.S. locations.
The stores that remain open will require face masks for employees and customers. Everyone entering the store must undergo a temperature check. These locations will also undergo "continuous deep cleaning," the company said.
Stores in both the U.K. and Australia have also shut down amid the recent COVID-19 resurgence.