Cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 have surged in the United States, and especially in New York, prompting Apple to close its stores there to walk-in customers.
CNBC reported customers who order online still are allowed to pick up their products, but indoor traffic is limited in the company’s stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island.
The Washington Post explained the seven-day average of new daily cases surged to 253,245 on Tuesday, passing the old high-water mark of 248,209.
“The omicron variant, first identified late last month in southern Africa, has sent infections soaring to levels not seen since last winter, bringing the total number of U.S. coronavirus cases since the pandemic began to more than 63 million, with more than 816,000 deaths,” the Post said.
For New York City, which reportedly is accounting for a large percentage of cases nationwide, a doctor posted online a graph showing the surge in cases:
Mask mandate and Covid passports seem to be working pretty well in New York: pic.twitter.com/KRPoGDLa6F
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) December 27, 2021
The CNBC report said Apple had closed its retail locations in early 2020 in response to the initial wave of COVID case, and on reopening had required tests and masks.
And it has closed down stores, temporarily, in other locations as surges were reported.
CNN reported that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs New York City region’s public transit, canceled some train traffic due to the surge.
The change comes amid a shortage of workers due to the pandemic.
“By reducing scheduled service, we’re able to re-allocate train crews where they’re needed, rather than cancel individual trips,” the utility’s Twitter account said.
NBC in New York reported the number of New York state residents hospitalized surged 12% in just one day.
“Gov. Kathy Hochul said about 6,273 people are hospitalized in the state, up by 647 from a day earlier.
New York City reported 28,000 positive tests results in just five days.
According to ABC, the city and state were documenting “striking” increases in new cases.
“Pediatric hospitalizations are up 395% in New York City since the week ending December 11, jumping from 22 to 109 the week ending December 23. Statewide pediatric hospitalizations jumped from 70 to 184,” the report explained.
The governor said New York will distribute up to 3.5 million tests to schools this week to keep students in class amid the omicron spike
“We want to make sure these schools stay open,” when students return to classes next week by initiating a widespread “test to stay” policy, Hochul said.
“If you are sniffling or not feeling good, just say home, watch the ball drop on TV, get a nice glass of champagne, and know you are doing the smart thing,” she said.
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