Apple Inc AAPL has updated its current COVID-19-related protocols and told its employees that wearing a face mask would no longer be required in most locations.
What Happened: The Tim Cook-led company told employees through an internal email, first noted on The Verge, that it recognized varying personal circumstances.
“Don’t hesitate to continue wearing a face mask if you feel more comfortable doing so. Also, please respect every individual’s decision to wear a mask or not,” according to the email from the company’s COVID-19 response team.
Apple-watcher and journalist Mark Gurman tweeted that masks were previously required in “public spaces” but not at desks.
He said, “Now [the] requirement dropped altogether. Doesn’t seem like the most ideal time to do so, however.”
Masks were previously still required in “public spaces,” but not at desks. Now requirement dropped altogether. Doesn’t seem like the most ideal time to do so however. See that big case decline between Feb. and March? That was the last time Apple dropped the requirement. https://t.co/vyKX3okvhu pic.twitter.com/MfcaumfNq2
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) August 2, 2022
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Why It Matters: Apple’s corporate headquarters is located in Cupertino, California. Santa Clara County, where Cupertino is located, is currently experiencing a “high” level of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The case rate for the 100,000 population in Santa Clara is 330.68 and new COVID-19 admissions in hospitals per 100,000 population are 12.9, according to the CDC.
CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public and on public transportation.
The COVID-19 subvariant known as BA.5 became dominant in the United States, according to a New York Times report dating back to early July.
BA.4 and BA.5 variants are highly infectious and have a reproductive rate of 18.6, which makes them as, if not more, transmissible than measles, according to Adrian Esterman, a professor at the University of South Australia.
Price Action: On Monday, Apple shares closed 0.6% lower at $161.51 in the regular session, according to data from Benzinga Pro.
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Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.