Apple closing all stores outside China

Apple is closing all its retail stores outside China until March 27 in order to protect workers and help stop the spread of the coronavirus illness COVID-19, the company announced early Saturday. The company is also committing $15 million to help with the worldwide response to the crisis, CEO Tim Cook said. 

Apple’s stores in China have already re-opened. The company said it learned lessons about best practices and the situation in China, which is where the coronavirus outbreak began.

“One of those lessons is that the most effective way to minimize risk of the virus’s transmission is to reduce density and maximize social distance,” Apple said.

“All of our hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operations,” Apple said.

Montana has first presumptive cases

Four people in Montana have presumptively tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the governor said Friday.

The four people – three men and a woman, in Gallatin, Yellowstone, Silver Bow, and Lewis and Clark counties – appear to be the first reported within the state. They were described as being in their 40s and 50s.

Montana’s health department previously said that a Montana resident had tested positive but that the patient got the coronavirus illness COVID-19 out of state and has not yet returned.

Tests are considered presumptively positive until they are confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Montana’s cases mean that 49 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have reported confirmed or presumptively positive cases, according to an NBC News count of reports. As of Friday, West Virginia’s health department has not reported any positive cases, but said tests were pending for five people.

President’s doctor says Trump doesn’t need to be tested

The president does not need to take a test to determine if he’s positive for coronavirus because two interactions he had with known patients were “low risk,” a White House doctor said in a memo released Friday.

The memo was made public hours after Trump said he would be tested.

“Not for that reason, but because I think I will do it anyway,” the president said Friday when asked about his interaction at his Mar-a-Lago resort last weekend with an aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Fabio Wajngarten, who turned up positive.

Physician to the president, Sean P. Conley, argued that because Trump’s interaction was minimal, including a handshake, and because Wajngarten and another patient were not exhibiting symptoms at the time they socialized with the president, Trump’s unlikely to get the virus.

Read more here. 

Pentagon halts all domestic travel starting Monday

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Pentagon is imposing new travel restrictions on employees, including service members and their families. The limits will start Monday, the Department of Defense announced Friday night.

All domestic travel will be stopped as of next week. This includes domestic travel, permanent change of station and temporary duty. Civilian hiring at Department of Defense installations will also be halted.

Read more here.

Roundup of coronavirus coverage

They survived the coronavirus. Then they tested positive again. Why? [The Los Angeles Times]

Why do we touch strangers so much? A history of the handshake offers clues [National Geographic]

Las Vegas books scramble for content day after sports stopped [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Social distancing: This is not a snow day [Medium]

Everybody ready for the big migration to online college? Actually, no [The New York Times]

The coronavirus is creating a huge, stressful experiment in working from home [The Atlantic]

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