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Apple talking to White House on Wednesday about coronavirus

Apple will attend a White House conference alongside other tech industry giants to coordinate responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.




Representatives from major tech companies are planning on attending a meeting at the White House hosted by U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios. The conference hopes to tackle how the federal government and the tech industry can work together in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Twitter will all likely attend, either in-person or through teleconference, according to a spokesperson for the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said Politico.

COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S., with nearly 1,000 cases as of Tuesday evening. Apple has already taken measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, both at Apple campuses and Apple retail locations.

Apple is offering hourly workers and retail employees unlimited sick leave if they exhibit symptoms of the virus, which could be instrumental in preventing the spread to customers.

Apple has also placed restrictions on employee travel to Italy and South Korea after cases of COVID-19 jumped in those countries. All non-essential travel to COVID-19 hotspots has been restricted, and a company vice president must approve business-critical travel.

It's also increasingly likely that WWDC will be cancelled. A new order has been issued by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, explicitly banning mass gatherings for at least three weeks, as the county gathers more information about COVID-19. While technically not forbidden yet, a three-week delay is not a promising sign for the live event to happen on-schedule.