Representatives of large technology companies will participate today in a meeting at White House (Washington, DC) organized by the US government’s chief technology officer, Michael Kratsios. The meeting should address how the federal government and the technology industry can work together in the face of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has affected more than 900 people in the United States, with 29 deaths.
According to a report by POLITICAL, among meeting participants will be Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Twitter. A spokesman for the Office of Science and Technology Policy also said that some representatives of these companies will be present over the phone, rather than in person.
As we commented, technology companies are at the epicenter of the outbreak in many ways. Many of them have restricted employee travel and canceled their technology conferences to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading.
In addition to restricting travel, Apple has also instructed its employees to work from home in the regions with the highest number of cases, especially in Seattle (Washington), where those numbers soar. Apple, Facebook and Amazon recently announced that there is at least one confirmed case of Coronavirus among their collaborators in the U.S.
Other precautions are also being taken online, with social media platforms combating the spread of fake news about the virus on the web and choosing to highlight data from official sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). In that sense, Apple is refusing apps on COVID-19 that are not from official health or government agencies.
Apple would also have given up holding an event later this month following recommendations by Santa Clara County (where the company is based in Cupertino) to cancel events with more than 1,000 people.
New measures in Apple Stores
Although it has already started to reduce (and even interrupt) the operation of some Apple Stores in the US, the company is taking other measures to prevent the spread of the virus inside its stores, according to information from the AppleInsider.
Among the new precautions, it would be operating “below capacity” and limiting the number of customers that can enter stores at any time. In doing so, Apple (theoretically) will keep the least number of people in the same location, reducing the chance of contact and spread of the virus.
The company would also have halved the number of seats available to customers in rest areas, and employees were instructed to keep at least one meter away from each other, as well as visitors.
Apparently, the measures did not extend to all of her stores in the US, but to those located in regions with the largest number of confirmed cases. As we reported, the company has already canceled all upcoming sessions of Today at Apple in the San Francisco Bay area and in Seattle.