Apple retail employees to get masks custom made by iPhone design teams, report says

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Apple’s stores have been opening and closing as cases rise and fall across the country.


Apple

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Apple’s iPhone and iPad design teams developed face masks that the company’s reportedly working to bring its retail employees to help protect them while working in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new masks, earlier reported by Bloomberg and MacRumors, have a three-layer design to filters particles, the publications said. It can be washed and reused up to five times, and appears to have a more pronounced triangle shape at its top than other masks, reportedly to better sit on people’s noses without fogging up glasses. It also has a rounded bottom for people’s chins, and its ear strings are adjustable.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the masks or whether they’ll be sold to the public.

Apple’s specially designed masks mark the latest way the company’s attempted to tackle the challenges of maintaining business amid one of the worst public health crisis in a century. The coronavirus has so far sickened more than 27 million people, killing at least 904,000.

The tech giant was one of the first major firms to publicly warn the coronavirus would affect worldwide shipments and operations, raising alarms as early as February. It’s since sent most of its employees to work from home, and either continued paying retail employees while stores are shut or having them help customers over the phone.

It’s also reopened some of its 510 stores across 25 countries as conditions have gotten better. But, in some cases, those stores had to close when infections spiked again.

Apple’s face masks are not the first COVID-19 products it’s produced. In April, Apple designed and sent millions of face shields to essential workers and hospitals. The company’s now reportedly working to bring a different face shield to its retail employees as well.

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